Will Calm Emotions stop a bloatmage's rage?


Rules Questions


So, the bloatmage. A very flavorful early prestige class that gives you extra spells or spell slots, but at the risk of flying into a homicidal rage if you overdo it. The bloatmage's rage appears to be unique:

Quote:
If her exertions push her beyond twice her normal blood point level, she immediately flies into a homicidal rage, striking out randomly with her most damaging attacks and abilities at friends and foes alike for 1d6 rounds or until her blood pool is reduced to 0 (whichever comes first). At the end of the rage, her blood points drop to 0, her hit points drop to –1, and she begins dying.

I say it's unique, in part because it isn't very well defined -- is it a mind affecting effect? "Randomly with her most damaging attacks and abilities", how does that work in detail? That said, it does seem to be an emotion effect, which means it should be vulnerable to the calm emotions spell. Let's take a look at that:

Quote:
This spell calms agitated creatures. You have no control over the affected creatures, but calm emotions can stop raging creatures from fighting or joyous ones from reveling. Creatures so affected cannot take violent actions (although they can defend themselves) or do anything destructive. Any aggressive action against or damage dealt to a calmed creature immediately breaks the spell on all calmed creatures.

Okay, so under RAW that's pretty straightforward: a creature affected by Calm Emotions "cannot take violent actions". So, the bloatmage might still fly into a homicidal rage for d6 rounds, but she wouldn't be able to "randomly attack with her most damaging attacks and abilities", because those would be violent actions.

This nerfs one of the restrictions on this PrC, but I don't think it's actually unbalanced. I would say the bloatmage stands there gritting her teeth for 1d6 rounds, then falls down at -1 hp and 0 bloat points. This by itself is a pretty significant restriction. Also, Calm Emotions allows a Will save. So, to be sure of it working, you'd want to cast it the round before the bloat attempt, so that the bloatmage could choose to fail the save. (Can a person in a homicidal rage choose to fail a save? I'd say no.) That means this is pretty useless in a combat situation. It could be used to help the bloatmage bulk up her bloat pool in advance, and at higher levels that's no small thing. But I wouldn't call it game-breaking.

Thoughts?

Doug M.


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I think that since you only go into a homicidal rage when you go over double the pool you're allowed (which is equal to your bloatmage level) that it's mostly a non-issue. Because using it up will keep you below the level. It's only a problem if you want to store up a big pool to do really crazy things.

To that end, as a GM, I'm definitely not going to let clam emotions save you.


Calm emotion would prevent you from attacking things that seems obvious. If used outside combat you would still enter the rage, but would not be able to attack. You would still drop to -1 HP and begin dying after 1d6 rounds. Since you cannot take aggressive actions you cannot cast any offensive spells. So I don’t really see what you are getting by casting it prior to combat.

Out of combat I would say Calm Emotion prevents you from attacking, but does not allow you to take any other actions. So all you would do is stand there and do nothing until either you begin dying, or the calm emotion runs out.

This spell would almost as effective against a Bloatmage as it is vs a Barbarian.


Claxon wrote:
I think that since you only go into a homicidal rage when you go over double the pool you're allowed (which is equal to your bloatmage level) that it's mostly a non-issue. Because using it up will keep you below the level. It's only a problem if you want to store up a big pool to do really crazy things.

I think this problem is solved by the "reset to 0". If you try to build up a ridiculously large pool, it won't work, because as soon as you get over 2 x level points, you rage. Calm Emotions prevents you from trying to kill everyone, but you still crash down to -1 hp and 0 blood points.

IOW you can never actually have more than 2 x level points. Well, except very briefly, for those d6 rounds while you're raging.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
I think this problem is solved by the "reset to 0". If you try to build up a ridiculously large pool, it won't work, because as soon as you get over 2 x level points, you rage. Calm Emotions prevents you from trying to kill everyone, but you still crash down to -1 hp and 0 blood points.

Yes, it sounds like two things -- a medical condition (blood pressure) with a side-effect (homicidal rage).

Calm Emotions should work on the rage effect as rage is an emotion.

However the thing that kills is a physical medical condition -- high blood pressure in the brain (and heart and body in general).

In other words Calm Emotions could function as something of a pain-killer (alleviating the rage symptom) but has no effect on the underlying problem.


My main point was, just don't ever try to accumulate double your level in points, and avoid the problem altogether.

This is more a problem at low bloatmage level when "double" is only 2. As you level up it becomes easier and easier to avoid.

I think we all agree that if you hit the rage point, you will go to 0 hp and 0 bloat points.

But calm emotions would adequately stop the bloatmage from TPKing the party. If you know...they failed the save.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The problem is that there is a variable die roll involved in adding to your blood pool -- so a roll that is too high could be enough to make a bloatmage fly into a rage even on the first use at some levels.


Right, like I said it's a problem at low levels, not at higher levels.

At level 2 double is 4, and using bloodsurge (if you've 0 points) could only put you at double. The rage only happens once you go over double.

SO the first few levels you have to be careful with your ability and can't go too crazy. But by level 5, you can go up to 10 points. Which would allow you to cast extra 9th level spells, for free (if you had any available) without going into rage. Although getting exactly the amount of points you need without going over would be tricky. But you probably don't have 9th level spells at this point anyways.

So basically, be careful at levels 1/2 of bloatmage and then cast free spells all the time often.


Claxon wrote:

My main point was, just don't ever try to accumulate double your level in points, and avoid the problem altogether.

This is more a problem at low bloatmage level when "double" is only 2. As you level up it becomes easier and easier to avoid.

The dice bumps at levels 4 and 10 complicate this. At L3, you're safe to bloat if you have 1 or 2 points. But then at L4, you're putting yourself in danger of rage if you bloat with any points at all in your pool. Similarly, at L9 you're safe with 10 points or less, but at L10 you're only safe up to 8 points.

Taking the Con hit further complicates things, of course. It's an interesting little subsystem.

Doug M.

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