Episode 127 – cheating the game
by Dan Repperger

* The awesome result of our Cattletech charity drive.

* Voting on the GM profile entries has ended.  Congratulations to Keith for winning!

* Fear the Con 2 is ready for your sign-up!

* Some tips for cheating the game, which leads into a discussion about how we would each deal with such antics at our own gaming tables.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Comments (8)

JimmyDDecember 10th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Just a note on wish.

I agree with the idea of ‘monkey paw’ing bad wishes, but you still have to be careful with them. I’ve seen player write up wishes that look more like sort sort of multi-page contract, stating things like “in such a way that it does not put me or my party in danger” and so on.
I think that personally, I’d have to just disallow the spell altogether, to avoid the arguments that would follow.

BurrowowlDecember 10th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

better version of the wish for the ring trick:

Get a Candle of Invocation (Lawful Evil). Use it to cast Gate to compel the service of an Efreet. Efreet can grant you three wishes. Make two normal wishes, then ask for another Candle of Invocation (Lawful Evil), which doesn’t contain a Wish, but rather a Gate, which summons a monster that has wishes. Only catch here is that you have to be Lawful Evil to use the candle for that purpose, but a little Use Magic Device can fix that up for you. Also, the Candle of Invocation is pretty cheap.

McNutcaseDecember 11th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Burrowowl: a DM can defuse that one so easily it’s not funny. All he has to do is make sure it’s the same Efreet, and this time he’s pissed off and will monkey paw you.

BurrowowlDecember 12th, 2008 at 2:31 am

@McNutcase: any use of the Wish spell is subject to DM monkey-pawing. The Candle of Invocation trick is just an exercise in trying to figure out the cheapest way to achieve an end (unlimited wishes in this case) without going all Pun-Pun.

YaVerOtDecember 12th, 2008 at 10:04 am

A reasonable wish should simply be granted. My group tends to use it as a teleport without the restrictions of Greater Teleport.

A “ring of three wishes” is about 97k.
3.0 Wish limits the item to 15k.
3.5 Wish limits a mundane item to 25k, and doesn’t state a limit for magical ones.

I’d grant the wish, charging the XP of crafting such a ring, and taking ~23K gp worth of items for crafting materials (beyond the 25k assumed by wish), and mention they had plenty of time to have already picked up the Forge Ring feat and make such an item. The second time they do it, the ring will be cursed (limited accessibility).

On the Stone to Flesh & reanimate. How do you make a statue of a templated creature? “Yes, yes. Goblin with wings, tail and claws, I can do that.” is how the sculptor will reply. “What is this celestial template you speak of? Well I could try to make the golbin look holy…”

From the SRD on Zombies:
“Special Qualities: A zombie loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks. A zombie gains the following special quality.
Single Actions Only (Ex): Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.”

So most of what you gain from other templates is removed by the Zombie template, and you still need to control the undead.

antilife shell, ice shield, energtic healing = still no protection from cold, acid, sonic, force or electricity. Hampering melee and stopping fireball is a poor use for a 6th and two 5th level spells.

Create water, flash freeze, hibernal healing. Taking a 0th, 2nd & 4th spell (and the three actions) to duplicate only the HP effects of Heal (7th for druids who can pull this off). Interesting, creative, and totally not game breaking. Once using Summon Nature’s Ally (Unicorn) [4th] isn’t enough healing, this could be worthwhile, but don’t rely on it during combat.

Also, both of these require access to Druid spells.

Jonathan LandrethDecember 13th, 2008 at 4:04 am

To Chad,
While I’m sure some of the “cheats” Dan mentioned have come up in games, you seemed to cringe at the notion that people would think of this stuff at all. My gaming group focuses on character concepts and role-playing, but no matter what system we’re playing (though it was always most apparent in 3rd edition), we’ve often sat around before or after a session and discussed wacky ideas or feat/ power combinations like this. Sometimes, we’d go so far as to map the character build out level-by-level, if the game was level based. But the characters never saw play. We’d just laugh about it. “Isn’t that f’d up!? I mean, it works within the rules, but damn that’s weird.” But those characters never saw play….unless there was a game that needed to die. They appeared when faced with the overbearing gm or a 1-shot game where we all pulled out broken characters and dicked around for a night. But for some gamers, it’s fun to read through the rules and find the loopholes or odd combos. As a GM it’s an important exercise, so you know what to look out for. And it’s certainly an important part of game design. You have to break a system in order to discover how to fix it.

So, while I know there are those who seriously create these characters, merely conceptualizing a broken character is a good mental exercise. Bringing that character to the game, however, is the work of an asshat.

Jonathan LandrethDecember 13th, 2008 at 4:14 am

P.S. I was a bit disappointed with these “cheats”. If FtB ever does this again, I think I’ll have to submit some of my group’s concoctions. How about the Toughest Paladin? With the right feats, prestige classes, ect. you can make a character that can never die in 3.0 . Version 3.5 is only the Walking-Scab Paladin who has so much stacked DR, monsters way above his level can only do single-digit damage. For Mutants and Masterminds, there’s always Mr. Multi-F*cks, the duplicating psychic….

LiquidWeirdDecember 17th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

These cheats, even the wonkiest ones, draw from the same well as Magic the Gathering, which is essentially a game of coming up with subtle rules f*cks.

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