Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Charm?

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Charm?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

I'm looking at running the next game probably next weekend. Normally, I have only two players, but we're waiting until next weekend to see if we can get our third. (Usually not; our third plays only very rarely).

Regardless of whether I have two or three players, I'm planning an encounter with a Lamia. Only one of our characters is male, so he'll be the target of her "affections." I figure if he makes his save against her Charm, she'll unveil her entourage of slaves and I can run it as a standard combat encounter (with her probably escaping, but who knows).

But if she succeeds, there's just the two of them, one fighter and one rogue (and, if our third is there, she'll probably play a fighter-type, too; none of us like magical characters). I'm looking for ways to break the Charm besides having the Lamia try to make him attack his teammates (i.e., I'd like the characters to save the day, not make it happen because the lamia got suddenly dumb and forgot how a Charm works). Short Round burned Indy with a torch, but that was drug-induced, I'm not sure it would work on a spell effect.

The system used must be possible enough that the characters can pull it off (if they figure it out), but not so simple as to make the Charm spell useless in future games ("Oh, he's Charmed? No problem, anyone gotta torch?").

I admit, I'm coming up a blank. I have over a week to prep, and everything's done except the Lamia's lair (if the Charm succeeds). Any suggestions?

serleran
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by serleran »

Dispel magic, naturally.

However, you could have the lamia's charm only apply while within listening distance, similar to a siren or harpy. The effect may remain, which could cause confusion to the character when they get out of range (and an obvious clue) but cannot be acted upon unless the lamia is able to speak with the victim. In this way, you would enable numerous options from bardic counterspelling to the mundane of "lalalalala!" or putting wax in the ears. Silence, as well.

If that seems too forced, it could be a matter of visual triggering. This would also allow a variety or means to work around it, including the ever-popular blindfold or looking via a mirror.

As examples.

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

serleran wrote:Dispel magic, naturally.

Thanks for the suggestions. :)

Herein lies a problem with none of us liking magical characters, of course. Not one among us has access to a Dispel Magic. Of course, what we lack in magical recourse we make up for in gaming that we feel is more "logical." (Yes, in our opinion, lol).

Of course, and not to derail my own thread (please and thank you), would Dispel Magic be effective against an inherent natural power like that? One could argue that the effect is not actually "magic" but merely a natural ability of the lamia, on par with a medusa's petrifying gaze (although I suppose some might say a Dispel Magic works on that, too).

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Sorry for the troubles I'm having with posting. It appears to be a ID-10-T error. :oops:

serleran
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by serleran »

Yes, dispel magic works as the ability to charm is a spell-like power, meaning all rules that apply to spells apply to it, save that the ability does not require components and can be cast more than once (up to whatever limit is provided.) The difference is that a medusa does not petrify as per a spell... it simply turns you to stone. Just because an effect has a spell it can mimic does not mean it does. A fire elemental does not mimic burning hands or affect normal fires by its mere presence.

Of course, do whatever you want in your game.

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Go0gleplex
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by Go0gleplex »

If you go by anime trope, some events in myths, and books then a charm, magical or otherwise created, can be broken or at least weakened enough to allow a person's will to break it by a strong enough shock to the system. Such as dropping them in freezing water, electrical shock, severe pain, or even a massive enough scare to fear for their life. Sometimes even a really bad smell can do it (ala Pepe Le Pew! or BOG OF ETERNAL STENCH!!! muwahahahahaa)
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serleran
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by serleran »

Along those lines, as the charm is not a domination but a strengthening of like, witnessing an event that puts actual, truly loved (or befriended) things/people in danger can also give reason to resist the spell again. Examples would be to see a close friend, relative, lover, or child in danger but it could extend to items or things of importance such as a favored weapon or a pet.

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Tricky Question: Unusual but workable ways to break a Ch

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

After reading these replies, I think I like the "seeing a friend/relative/lover" in danger. The way I can work it is, our male (the one who would be Charmed if he fails his save) is our main fighter. So if the other player(s) go in to rescue him and I have them outnumbered and "out-toughed," then he would be forced to watch his friend(s) getting beat for a few rounds. Starting on, say, round 2 or 3, I could start letting him have a save to break the Charm as his friend(s) take a beating. At some point he should break out of it and then come in like a lion.

I think I've seen this before. :-/ Batman? Xena? It looks, in the words of the rabbit, "awfully familiah."

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