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Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?
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Author:  Laika [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:27 am ]
Post subject:  Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

A slight inconsistency in the rulebook:


On P.431 in the Zombie monster entry it clearly states: As un-dead, they are immune to sleep, charm, and paralysis spells ...

But on P.131 in the Charm spell description it says: Wizards can attempt this spell on monsters and un-dead with a -2 check penalty ...


How do you read this and which way do you go in your game? I wanted to stick with undead are *immune* to charm spells, but the wizard in question felt pretty hosed when he rolled a high spell check and I responded that the zombies did not react at all. He showed me the spell description and said that's why he chose to cast the spell. We wondered if maybe it's not really an inconsistency and that maybe it's more for undead with minds (vampire, lich) although good luck on those 2 right? Also the fact that all of the undead in the rulebook are pretty mindless makes me think that's not really what was intended. So would this be house rule territory? If so, like I said, what do you guys and gals do about this?

[Sorry for the edit, but when I reviewed my post, it did seem a little sparse. First post and all.]

Author:  CocoaRobbins [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

In my game, yeah, it would only work on an intelligent undead. The reason it doesn't work on zombies is they are brainless, much like skeletons. Somewhere there's probably an undead that could be affected but it'll most likely make its save, so all in all I'd say this probably won't come up much. Remember though, its just a level one spell, level one wizards don't stand up to vampires well.

Author:  cthulhudarren [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

CocoaRobbins wrote:
In my game, yeah, it would only work on an intelligent undead. The reason it doesn't work on zombies is they are brainless, much like skeletons. Somewhere there's probably an undead that could be affected but it'll most likely make its save, so all in all I'd say this probably won't come up much. Remember though, its just a level one spell, level one wizards don't stand up to vampires well.


I agree with this.

Author:  beermotor [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

I dunno. Even a crappy wizard could spellburn / burn Luck like a crazy person on a charm attempt on a vampire... even if a vamp has a high bonus, can he realisitcally make a DC 29 save? Probably not.

Author:  CocoaRobbins [ Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

Yeah, guess I did forget about spell burn, recently saw what happens when you get a 31 on growth spell and you're outdoors. Spell burn can defeat anything, once every two weeks.

Author:  cthulhudarren [ Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

So I don't remember for sure but I don't think vampires are in the book, so YOU decide.

Author:  bitflipr [ Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

I would tend to make undead immune to charm spells in most normal circumstances. However, if a particular wizard was leaning towards necromancy ways, perhaps they could quest or make a deal in order to have their charm spell (and why not paralysis and sleep also?) affect the undead.

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

Dead horse & whip: Keep the players guessing; no blanket commonality among monsters (not even a horse blanket). I could repeat this until I'm hoarse, blanket.

Some may be undead. Some may be un-dead. Some may be ...other. No unifying rules! No categorical understanding! Endless sausages! Unlimited bread pudding!

I know, I know; my theories appall you, and you don't like my tie.

But bow ties are cool.

Author:  ragboy [ Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

GnomeBoy wrote:
Some may be undead. Some may be un-dead. Some may be ...other. No unifying rules! No categorical understanding! Endless sausages! Unlimited bread pudding!


Hear! Hear! Maybe the conventional wisdom is that "undead" are immune to such things -- "science" is wrong all the time. Rigfil the cup boy to Master Theron stumbles upon an "Enthralling Formulae" that not only seems to control the dead, it raises them from their graves! His master's crypt is now literally crawling with bodies and parts of bodies all under the control of their new master... Rigfil the Dread Lord Cup Boy!

Or whatever.

Point is that conventions and magic don't mix.

Author:  bill4935 [ Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

ragboy wrote:
Point is that conventions and magic don't mix.


While I agree with you for the most part (I went to one once, and the smell of all those players overwhelmed the hall's AC) it's not fair to single them out. Wargamers and roleplayers are just as unappealing en masse.

/That reminds me, I'd better go shower today.

Author:  finarvyn [ Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Charm Spells Work on Undead or No?

My knee-jerk reaction would be to not allow un-dead to be affected by Charm but if a player really wants to try hard enough and makes an awesome roll I would at least consider bending the rule.

I hate to rule that things can't happen ... only that they aren't likely to happen.

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