Rightness of Thought and Action

Here at Intelligence Check, we try to keep up with what our readers are looking for. While popular opinion doesn’t decide what articles we put out, we do try to spotlight things that are popular among Pathfinder fans. We write this stuff for you guys, after all.

While our last article, Bringing Back the Sexy! was our most popular to date, a few people mentioned that they felt uncomfortable by the nature of the subject matter. Well, we listen to our readers, and so this article is dedicated to those who didn’t care for the previous material. This is for you.

DETECT BAD THOUGHTS

School divination [lawful, mind-affecting]; Level inquisitor 1, paladin 1

Components V, S, DF

Duration 10 min./level

The thoughts people have affects their attitudes and behavior, which in turn affects how they deal with others; hence, bad thoughts can lead a person down the path to wickedness, and harm the community. This spell allows for the detection of such thoughts early on.

This spell functions as detect thoughts except as given here. This spell only detects thoughts that you would consider objectionable, such as blasphemy against your religion, gratuitous profanity, sexuality, and violence (in other words, things you wouldn’t want children to hear). Other thoughts are not detected by this spell.

DETECT BAD THOUGHTS, GREATER

School divination [lawful, mind-affecting]; School paladin 2

Duration 1 hour/level

This spell functions as detect bad thoughts except as listed here.

While this spell is active, whenever a paladin uses detect evil to concentrate on a single individual within 60 feet he also picks up any bad thoughts the creature is having as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual with detect evil, the paladin does not detect bad thoughts in any other individual within range.

PROTECTION FROM INFLUENCE

School abjuration; Level cleric 1, inquisitor 1, paladin 1, sorcerer/wizard 2, summoner 2, witch 2

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range touch

Target creature touched

Duration 1 round/level (D)

Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

Inequality in a relationship is inherently damaging to the non-dominant participant, regardless of their personal feelings. Moreover, the very existence of such relationships suggest to others that they’re somehow legitimate, causing further harm to the fabric of society. This spell removes such bondage from a creature for a short time, allowing them to act freely.

A creature under the effects of this spell has all charm and compulsion effects suppressed for its duration. Moreover, they cannot make any sort of mental contact with another creature (e.g. telepathic bond). This spell suppresses the “link” and “share spells” special qualities when used on animal companions and eidolons, and the “empathic link” and “share spells” special qualities when used on familiars.

Summoned creatures are affected by this spell as though they were the subject of a targeted dispel magic.

Note that this spell does not affect a creature’s attitude. It may still choose to help someone it’s bonded to of its own free will.

If this spell is used against a sekirei, their “bonded” and “norito” special qualities are suppressed for the spell’s duration.

PURIFY SENSES

School abjuration [lawful, mind-affecting]; Level cleric 2, inquisitor 1, paladin 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range touch

Target creature touched

Duration 10 min./level

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

Objectionable imagery causes objectionable thoughts and opinions in people, which in turn leads to objectionable actions. This spell protects against that by making sure that those it wards cannot see or hear anything that would offend their sensibilities.

A creature affected by this spell is unable to see or hear anything offensive, obscene, lewd, or otherwise objectionable. The exact manner in which this spell stops such material from being sensed by the affected creature tends to vary between castings; images tend to be covered with a black bar or become distorted by a mosaic, while sounds are covered with a “bleep” noise, or are simply selectively muted. The exact nature of what a character finds objectionable varies, but for most creatures tends to include blasphemy against their religion, gratuitous profanity, sexuality, and violence (in other words, things that they would not want children to see or hear).

Bluff and Intimidate checks that incorporate objectionable elements automatically fail against a creature protected by this spell. Likewise, creatures under this spell gain a +6 resistance bonus against spells and effects that include objectionable elements.

The spell’s determination of what is or is not objectionable is measured by the sensibilities of the creature upon whom this spell is cast, not by the spell’s caster.

This spell made be made permanent when cast on yourself, requiring a minimum caster level of 5 and 1,000 gp. Despite the hard work of many clerics, inquisitors, and paladins, however, no way has yet been discovered to make this spell permanent when casting it on others.

[This spell was inspired by the Purify Sight spell used by Piffany the cleric in the hilarious comic “Nodwick,” by Aaron Williams.]

It should be noted that, from a strict rules standpoint, the purify senses spell is fairly out-of-whack. After all, it’s a low-level spell that grants total immunity to two skills, and a hefty bonus against spells and effects…some of the time, since when it applies is vague and not strictly defined in the game’s rules terminology.

It’s precisely because of that imprecise applicability, however, that the spell’s effects are so disproportionally powerful for its level. Using this spell means that the GM has a great deal of leeway over when its effects kick in and when they don’t. As such, it’s entirely possible for this spell to not grant its bonuses depending on how a given effect is role-played. The reward for using such a spell is that when its effects do kick in, they make themselves worthwhile.

UNRELENTING RIGHTEOUSNESS

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level alchemist 1, bard 1, inquisitor 1, paladin 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range touch

Target creature touched

Duration 10 minutes

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

This spell makes a creature supremely confident in the correctness of their beliefs, gives them the courage necessary to tell people with differing opinions exactly why they’re wrong, and the conviction to keep the debate going until they’ve shown the other person the error of their ways (or at least gotten the last word).

A creature under the effects of this spell may use Diplomacy to make Intimidate checks.

On the surface, this spell doesn’t look very useful. After all, Intimidate is used to make a creature more helpful towards you, which Diplomacy already does. However, Intimidate can make a creature helpful no matter what its starting attitude is, whereas Diplomacy can only raise a creature’s attitude by two steps. Likewise, the DC to beat is calculated differently. And of course, this lets you demoralize an opponent with Diplomacy as well.

Until next time, may you be made of sterner stuff than the other guy!

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5 Responses to “Rightness of Thought and Action”

  1. Commander Shepard Says:

    I am Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite article on the internet.

  2. Will Says:

    I can just see a totalitarian church state applying some form of massive ‘Purify Senses’ onto all its people, perhaps individually at birth or via some form of area-effect recast at appropriate intervals. Might be fun to run an urban campaign in such a state.

    • alzrius Says:

      A higher-level version of the spell would certainly make that possible. After all, there’s no reason to think that continued research won’t eventually yield a spell that can’t be made permanent on others.

      In fact, all of the spells here lend themselves to the sort of state you’re describing. There’s a reason they’re all on the paladin spell list, after all; the people need to be protected from themselves…for their own good, of course.

      • Will Says:

        Of course, and the best way to protect people is to ensure they never even realise they’re being protected!

        Could lead to an amusing murder mystery where some kind of evil being is just wandering around in plain sight but no-one can see it.

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