|#1zombiegleemaxApr 30, 2004 15:31:06||According to the PHB, Spell-like abilities require no components of no kind no how. Does using a spell-like ability cause Defilement?|
For me, the question came up in a discussion of the Archmage Prestige Class, with the feature of sacrificing a spell-slot to gain a known spell of that level a spell-like ability. Terrors of Athas also has a list of Dark-Sun approved creatures which include some offenders.
Right now, I lean towards yes. IMC, it is a universal truth that "Magic" is the grasping, focusing, and channelling of elemental energy. Anything that is not caused by Psionics, given as a gift by powerful elemental Outsiders sucks life from the world around you.
|#2Shei-NadApr 30, 2004 15:40:12||Hmm... good question...|
I was going to say no, but then, where would the energy come from?
However, that would presume that spell-like abilities are arcane in nature. Several creatures could develop spell-like abilities that access divine energy sources.
Anyways, the simplest thing would be to make spell-like abilities that are arcane in nature gain their energy partly from the creature's life itself, in a way that is no longer harmful to the creature, since its innate, and from the environment, in a way not harmful to the environment, hence, by preserving energies.
There could even be a feat that allows you to power up your Sps with defiling instead.
Just a few thoughts...
|#3beltaineApr 30, 2004 16:30:19||Well, I would simply say no it would not cause deiflement. It is after all a Spell-like ability. Thus it functions as a spell but is a natural ability for the creature in question.|
|#4zombiegleemaxApr 30, 2004 16:55:24||there were already monsters in 2nd edition that had "spell-like" abilities... (IIRC the Nightmare Beast had a lot, fireballs, lighting bolts, acid fogs...) and they didn't defile... so...|
|#5zombiegleemaxApr 30, 2004 18:54:52||Hmm, I thought that Nightmare Beasts did defile in 2E. But they were unusual in that regard IIRC.|
|#6zombiegleemaxApr 30, 2004 19:39:31||Nightmare Beasts did defile in 2nd edition, but they were an exception. I dont' think any other creatures with spell-like abilities defiled, but then again, most of those used elemental energy, such as the drakes and spirits of the land.|
My vote would be that spell-like abilities are different from arcane magic, and thus, would not require plant-life like arcane magic does.
|#7jihun-nishApr 30, 2004 20:29:09||in one of my campaign, the magical energie required to cast a spell-like ability came from with-in the caster.Those who had spelllike-abilities could cast them as often as they liked regardless of level, but the more they would use them, the more fatigued they become even to the point of collapsing if not being carefull.(this was based on the 2nd edition players option books:the channeler....I think) So in a way they were some kind of sorcerers.|
|#8zombiegleemaxMay 01, 2004 1:16:13||Several good points.|
Originally posted by Shei-Nad
Well, for the purposes of Athas (again, IMC), arcane and divine spells both draw on elemental energy, but I understand your point, that the energy could be, like a cleric's spells, granted to him by the creatures of his domain. Except, of course, that no creature would be better suited to this than the Drakes, and the Drakes quite certainly have NO spell-like abilities, just psionics. But we certainly could assume that such abilities in elemental outsiders are "divine" in this way.
Originally posted by Beltaine
I'm not sure that I buy this. A Tortoise can resist damage thanks to it's thick, tough shell. A Giant can stomp people because it's big and strong. A bird can fly because it has wings. These are all natural abilities for the creature in question. If a creature can fly without wings or gasbags (or psionics), then something must be producing lift. To say "it just can" doesn't satisfy me. However, I will allow that sometimes spell-like abilities are just short-hand for what the author wants the creature to be able to do. Also, twisted creatures that result from SK experimentation might very well be able to display some effects from it.
Originally posted by Tembo-Pie
As I said, the problem came up thanks to the Archmage PrC, which I do like and want to have in my campaign. However, if transforming a spell-slot into a spell-like ability makes it not need verbal, somatic, or material components and removes the need to defile, then it becomes unbalanced for a Dark Sun campaign, much the same way that Monks and Soulknifes are.
Originally posted by Jihun-Nish
This is a generally excellent idea, and it reminds me very much of the GURPS magic system, which is an added bonus. How did you determine the number of times they could "cast?" Wis? Int? Sta? HP?
Actually, that gives me the thought of having spell-like abilities behave like defiler spells cast on a high-level druids protected land, ie causing damage to the user based on spell-level. That could work for the Archmage...