Sunday, January 2, 2011

Campaign Design - Spells: Gestalt

Gestalt (from the Book of Eldritch Might II)

Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 6
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 caster levels)
Target, Effect, or Area: Two living nonplant creatures, both of which are no farther apart than 10 feet
Duration: 1 minute per caster level (D)
Saving Throw: Fortitude and Will partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

This strange spell fuses two creatures together for a time. If either or both of them are not willing subjects, they both make Fortitude and Will saving throws. The effects of the spell depend on which saving throws fail *(as always, willing targets can choose to fail their saves on purpose).
  • All four saving throws fail: The creatures fuse into one creature, whose type becomes aberration. It has a bizarre appearance, with all the limbs of both subjects, a two-sided head with both faces (if applicable) and the rest a strange amalgam. It is the size of the larger of the two subjects. This new creature has the higher of the two subject's hit points, ability scores, saving throw bonuses, Armor Class, skill bonuses, and speed. It retains all the movement capabilities, special abilities, spells, feats, and knowledge of both creatures. Redundant abilities, such as if both of them possessed the feat Cleave, produce no special effect beyond the fact that the gestalt creature has the feat. The new creature has all the gear of both subjects, although in the case of redundancy, only the better of the two remains, while the other is subsumed into the creature's form for the duration. Since the gestalt creature has multiple arms, multiple weapons are not redundant. While the creature does not gain more actions, it does automatically gain the feat Two-Weapon Fighting.

    With both minds still active within the gestalt creature, the two subjects must agree on all actions the body takes or it does nothing. If they cannot agree, one mind can attempt to assert dominance by making an opposed Charisma check against the other mind. The winner gains control of the gestalt creature for 1d10 rounds.

    All spell effects active on either subject before the spell is cast affect the gestalt creature as well. Thus, if one was charmed and the other hasted, the gestalt creature is both charmed and hasted. when the spell ends, so do magical effects on both creatures, whether beneficial or detrimental. Damage dealt to the gestalt creature is evenly divided between the two subjects where possible. Damage that cannot be equally divided (such as 1 point of drained Strength) is ignored. After the spell ends, both creatures remember some details of the other's thoughts and memories (DM's discretion).

    If the gestalt creature dies, both subjects are dead.

  • One creature fails just one saving throw, and the other succeeds at both: The creature failing the saving throw suffers 4d6 points of damage. The other subject remains unaffected and there is no fusing.

  • One creature fails just one saving throw and the other fails both: The creature succeeding at one saving throw suffers 2d6 points of damage. The other suffers 6d6 points of damage. There is no fusing.

  • One creature fails just the Fortitude saving throw, one fails just the Will save: the creature failing the Fortitude saving throw disappears, its mind transported into the other creature's body. This transported mind now controls the other creature's body for the duration. The controller keeps its Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, alignment, and mental abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. A body with extra limbs does not allow the controlling character to make more attacks or more advantageous two-weapon attacks than normal. The controlling creature cannot choose to activate the body's extraordinary or supernatural abilities. The controlled creature's spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body.

  • Both creatures fail the Fortitude saving throws but succeed at the Will save: The subjects fuse into one creature, as described above, but have no control over the new body. They spend the entire duration of the spell paralyzed.

  • Both creatures fail the Will saving throws but succeed at the Fortitude saves: Both creatures are stunned for the duration, their minds (but not their bodies) fused together in a confusing jumble. When the spell ends, both subjects remember some details of the other's thoughts and memories (DM's discretion).

  • One creature fails both saves, the other succeeds at both: The creature failing the saving throws suffers 8d6 points of damage. The other subject remains unaffected and there is no fusing.

  • Both creatures succeed at both saves: Nothing happens.
A subject that fused (at least partially successfully) with a creature is finds particularly repelling may suffer additional drawbacks from this spell, at the DM's discretion. In these cases, such as a paladin fused with a demon or a ranger with its favored enemy, one or both may suffer a morale penalty to attacks, damage, saves, and checks for up to 10 minutes after the spell ends. Paladins may even find atonement appropriate in the aftermath of the gestalt.

If the caster fails to overcome the spell resistance of either subject, the entire spell has no effect on either creature.

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