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Old 05-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
Dustin
 
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Default [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

I'm generally in love with the Divine Favor rules, but something just caught my eye. Smite (Divine Favor p.12) gets an Accessibility limitation of -50% for affecting Malign Supernatural Beings Only. Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation. This is basically a -50% cost break, to have an Area Effect that you can lob repeatedly in close quarters without worrying about your allies (supernatural or not), and without the need to buy Selective Area +20% (B108).

Affecting supernatural beings only is a legitimate limitation; you can't Smite a dire rhino, I'm cool with that. It's "malign" that I'm concerned about.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
roguebfl
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Malign in this case means apposing holy force, basically Holy and unholy are malign to each other.

If you're on the side of the celestials, you can't smite a dire rhino nor an angry rhino that thinks you are an enemy... you can only smite an infernal rhino

If you were on the side of the demons you could use it only to smite a celestial rhino , not other types.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
I'm generally in love with the Divine Favor rules, but something just caught my eye. Smite (Divine Favor p.12) gets an Accessibility limitation of -50% for affecting Malign Supernatural Beings Only. Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation. This is basically a -50% cost break, to have an Area Effect that you can lob repeatedly in close quarters without worrying about your allies (supernatural or not), and without the need to buy Selective Area +20% (B108).

Affecting supernatural beings only is a legitimate limitation; you can't Smite a dire rhino, I'm cool with that. It's "malign" that I'm concerned about.
It's not clear, but I wouldn't assume 'malign' and 'hostile' are synonymous. I'd assume smite only blows up supernatural critters that in a certain other game would have Always Evil in its stat-block.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

At least some of that accessibility is legitimate: you can't smite Stone Golems, Giant Apes, Electric Floating Jellies, Obsidian Jaguars, and many other high DR opponents, nor can you smite random diffuse monsters. It can be a painful limitation.

Also, without a true Selective Effect enhancement, you can have other problem. If you have someone who registers as a malign supernatural entity among your allies (like a Dungeon Fantasy Half-Infernal), then smite takes them out, too. It's a bit of a corner case but I've run into it a couple of times in play.

And remember, the base cost of Smite's Innate Attack is only 5, so even forcing people to take Selective Attack and reducing the value of the limitation is only going to increase the cost by 3-4 points at most, and since Smite is taken as an Alternate Ability anyway, that's really 0-1 points.

tl;dr: Smite doesn't have a limitation (Enemies Only). It has a limitation (Some Enemies Only).
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Does the Malign part seem like a bit of a point crock to anyone else? It's a bit like taking Enemies Only as a limitation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguebfl View Post
malign in this case means apposing holy forece, basical Holy and unholy are malign to each other.
What rogue said. Here, "malign" means "malign to your deity." If you're a Christian preacher, then your Smite is mainly useful against demonic things. If you worship Loki, then it's useful against things like Elementals of Order. And so on. Basically, Smite affects whatever supernatural beings your religion is supposed to be fighting against.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Note that I can see justification for a new miracle -- call it "Controlled Smite" -- that's far less restrictive and actually does work like Dustin thought Smite did. I think it has the potential to be a little bit too useful, but should be balanced as long as the GM keeps a tight control on what a "supernatural being" is.

Controlled Smite
Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 8
Learned Prayer Cost: 9 points

As for Smite, except that it does only 2d-1 damage (still in a 4-yard radius) but affects any supernatural creature of the caster's choosing. He can target the undead, spirits, demons, elementals, etc., regardless of whether they're considered "malign" to his god -- while also ensuring that any supernatural allies in the area are safe.

Statistics: Burning Attack 2d-1 (Accessibility, Supernatural Beings Only, -30%; Affects Insubstantial, +20%; Area Effect, 4 yards, +100%; Cosmic, Irresistible attack, +300%; Divine, -10%; Emanation, -20%; Low Signature, +10%; Selective Area, +20%) [45].

Controlled Smite (Enhanced)
Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 11
Learned Prayer Cost: 17 points

As for Controlled Smite, but does 3d-1 damage in a 16-yard radius.

Statistics: Burning Attack 3d-1 (same, but raise Area Effect to 16 yards) [83].
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
Note that I can see justification for a new miracle -- call it "Controlled Smite" -- that's far less restrictive and actually does work like Dustin thought Smite did. .
I don't think you're quite getting Dustin's issue. It goes something like this. The restriction on Smite is a real limitation. It means that the attack is no use against attacking humans, animal monsters, and yes hostile supernatural entities that are not opposed to your god in general but just want to kill you in particular.

But that limitation isn't all bad because it means your attack never hurts anyone you should be associating with or innocent bystanders. So to some degree the limitation on when it is useful is balanced by the fact that you can use it without hesitation any time you think you are faced with a demon. Or at least much more freely than a normal area effect attack Bearing that in mind, should the limitation be as high as 50% or should it be a little lower?
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

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Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
At least some of that accessibility is legitimate: you can't smite Stone Golems, Giant Apes, Electric Floating Jellies, Obsidian Jaguars, and many other high DR opponents, nor can you smite random diffuse monsters. It can be a painful limitation.
In D&D 3rd Edition, lesser Undead were of Evil Alignment, but in 3rd Edition Revised, lesser Undead were changed to Neutral Alignment.

That had all sorts of game-mechanical consequences, with regards to spells and abilities like Detect Evil, and I'm sure D&D's Clerics and Paladins also have a lot of Smite Evil abilities. Those stopped working on Undead.

In my Ärth setting, Undead are either of Satanic Alignment or (more commonly) no Alignment, depending on their origin, but wielders of Divine Powers can have special abilities that work against Undead, or work better against them. Most such abilities specifically work against Undead, Demons and Weres, and no other targets.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
In D&D 3rd Edition, lesser Undead were of Evil Alignment, but in 3rd Edition Revised, lesser Undead were changed to Neutral Alignment.

That had all sorts of game-mechanical consequences, with regards to spells and abilities like Detect Evil, and I'm sure D&D's Clerics and Paladins also have a lot of Smite Evil abilities. Those stopped working on Undead.
Uh? I'm not sure about "3rd edition revised" but I'm pretty sure in 3.5, skeletons and zombies were Evil. They definitely are listed as such in the D20 SRD.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Divine Favor] Is Smite underpriced?

Yeah, that's backwards, and not quite correct. In D&D 3e, mindless undead (skeletons and zombies) were Neutral, because they were mindless. In 3.5e, they made them Neutral Evil, as they were animated by malign supernatural forces.

Lesser non-mindless undead - ghouls, wights, etc. - were some flavor of Evil throughout 3.xe.

Edit: also, undead always ping as "evil" to detect evil in 3.xe, regardless of actual alignment.
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