First up for today, it’s another question…
I have a question related to Legends of High Fantasy (The tide of blood and hand of the earth spellweaves) and the awaken spell:
What level would the effect have to be to be heritable? I find it odd that WoTC never had a version of awaken that allows offspring to be intelligent when they did have a few variants (like awaken ooze).
The answer to this one depends a lot on how you think “heredity” works in d20. It’s doubtful that it has much to do with genetics when a human and an animated mass of fire can have a child. Given the existence of the half-ghost template, presumably it’s something spiritual. After all, a spirit doesn’t have anything else to contribute.
There also seems to be a built-in tendency to revert to the “pure” racial templates. Wizards of the Coast never addressed this issue – but otherwise, after a few thousand years, I’d expect everyone to be dragon-elf-human-demon-celestial-elementals. How that reversion-effect works is open to question – but maybe creatures with too many weird ancestors are sterile, or perhaps when a bloodline gets too thin it vanishes, or some such.
As far as heridatory “Awaken” effects go, an increased attribute is pretty much ALWAYS an advantage. Ergo, if such a change was truly stable, and was passed on reliably, the talking intelligent animals should wind up as the default type of animals – and, in older settings, should have wound up that way a long time ago . Even without hands, extra skill points will help out – and welcome to the Land of Oz!
So, first up, we’d need a spell that can mess with a creatures spiritual nature – granting it sapience, the ability to make moral choices, and advanced communicative abilities. That’s the basic “Awaken” spell – although it does cost a chunk of XP (in its role as a transforming force that can bestow new abilities on something). Eliminating that would bump the level a bit.
Now, if we want to make that change a hereditary part of a creatures spiritual nature we want something much subtler than an imposed transformation-spell, however “instantaneous”. I’d peg that one at around +2-3 levels, and with a larger XP cost.
Eventually, however, the effects would fade – and later generations of your target creatures would revert to their original spiritual template. How long will that take to happen? Well, for +2 levels, probably to 1-2 creatures per level of the caster – allowing the creation of a large family or small group. For +3 levels perhaps 5-10 such creatures per level of the caster – allowing the creation of a modest clan.
To make it truly permanent, and establish a new species we need to add the correct spiritual template to the universe’s current selection – which is definitely a job for Epic Magic (unless your GM is really kind and lets if happen naturally if you just do your multi-generational awakening spell over and over again) or overcome whatever-it-is that keeps the various species relatively pure.
Given that I don’t know what that’s going to be in a given setting, that’s kind of hard to figure out. In this case, I’ll just go with a comparison to an existing level thirteen Eclipse spell – Evolution. Ergo, level twelve to fourteen, depending on just what the species purity-enforcing mechanism is and how hard it is to affect.
- d20 – Summon Army (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse Pathfinder – The Sorcerer (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Rasarin’s Vista (Water Manse *) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – New Manse Powers (ruscumag.wordpress.com)