Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oathbound: Spellblind

I like the idea of Oaths in the DnD world having a strong bearing not just on the RP of some characters but of the mechanics. The Book of Exalted Deeds had some good ideas for this in 3rd edition. The thing about giving a mechanical benefit for an Oath, is that you really need to find balance with the sacrifice and the benefit. The Oath itself is a feature available to any class or race. It does not have any prerequisites but you may like to add some for your campaign. You gain the benefits simply by approving the Oath with your DM.

I did not specifically block arcane characters from taking these feats, to allow for characters who feel cursed by their own abilities.

The following has not been playtested fully. More options in later posts.


The Spellblind are a group of people not affiliated by any organization but a common philosophy. They see magic in the world as dangerous or unnatural, and would rather intelligent humanoids not use it at all. They have since sworn that they would not let the power of magic sway them in this world, relaying on ingenuity and personal strength wherever possible. Some people take this Oath to extremes, hunting down wizards and sorcerers, sometimes even priests hoping to cleanse the world. Others are peaceful monks, who travel a diplomatic world, showing themselves as an example of what could be, but never interfering directly with others. Some still keep to themselves, taking the Oath due to a personal event in their past, never mentioning to anyone the ideals they hold dearly.

Oath: You have sworn to limit your contact with the magical world. You cannot use or wield any magic items.
Benefit: At level 3, you gain a +1 Item Bonus to all defenses, and to-hit. This bonus increases by 1 every 5 levels thereafter.

Note to DMs: It should be made clear what the first part of the Oath means between player and DM when the Oath is first accepted. Can a character benefit from an allies ritual? If the main entrance into the dragon's lair is a magical lift does this character need to climb the walls instead? I suggest somewhere in the middle of the road. Remember that there is already sacrifice involved here and to keep the game fun. Whatever you decide it should be clear to the player at the start.

Remember to adjust the treasure accordingly. All the other players should not get an extra share, since this player is still getting the benefits of the most common magic items. If the player still takes his share of treasure, try to find places for him to spend that money. Maybe the players could use a base of operations? Lavish luxuries? Fund a school?

Heroic Feats

Oathbound: Spellblind
You have made a personal pledge against the temptation of magic, and your senses have become all the sharper.
Prerequisites: Spellblind Oath
You can use Perception in place of Arcana when detecting the presence of magic. You gain a +2 Insight bonus vs those who use magic as their primary source of power.

Spellblind Destroyer
You have mastered your weapon, unhindered by the crutch of enhancement. You know how to spot an opening and exploit it so that your blows strike with all the more precision.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind
Once per encounter, as a free action after hitting an enemy with an attack, they gain Vulnerable 5 to all attacks from you (save ends).

Spellblind Healer
You have looked into the hearts of men and know of their inner strength.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind

When you use a power that enables you or an ally to regain hit points, add your current Item Bonus from your Spellblind Oath as extra hp gained.

Spellblind Fearmonger
You enter battle with fierce determination. When your allies realize your power is not enhanced by other means, they soon learn respect.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind
Once per encounter, as a minor action, you mark all enemies in a close burst 3. This mark ends at the end of your next turn.

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