Pearls of Power

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The holder specifically--as in what one does with a hand. The description of the pearl of power reads, in part,. This seemingly normal pearl of average size and luster is a potent aid to all spellcasters who prepare spells clerics, druids, rangers, paladins, and wizards. Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

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The spell must be of a particular level, depending on the pearl. Different pearls exist for recalling one spell per day of each level from 1st through 9th and for the recall of two spells per day each of a different level, 6th or lower. The wizard can create multiple pearls of power all with the same command word.


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The wizard can activate one pearl of power in the wizard's possession as a standard action using that command word. If the wizard holds in her hands two or more pearls of power when the command word is spoken as a standard action to activate a magic item, one of the pearls of power in wizard's hands activates, determined at random.

This assumes that the DM determines that a held magic item takes precedence over a merely possessed one with the same command word and that the DM wants to stick to the actually far more important rule that activating a command word magic item takes a standard action, and therefore simultaneous magic item activation can't happen accidentally , much less, like here, as some kind of faux accident.

I went with random determination as that makes sense if multiple pearls with the same command word are deliberately held and the holder fails to specify which one to activate when the command word is spoken. NB: Regardless of what kind of an action it is to speak the command word , the act of activating an item is a standard action. And a character only gets one standard action per round. To explain in-character why this won't work I suggest making something up.

Perhaps the crafter doesn't have perfect control over the command word, leading to variations? Perhaps only the pearl that is closest to the caster's heart is activated when the word is spoken? For what it's worth, "speaking significantly" is very often a significant action.

See Bluff and Diplomacy. Regardless of how you explain it - by the rules, it won't work. If you make a ruling otherwise, you're in a world of trouble, actions are clearly designed to be limited in combat, while mere words aren't. Just wait until she figures out how many items use command words! Go with it.

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Let it happen. After all, the caster is recalling quite a few spells at once which is not something they can normally do, it should require a check and have consequences for failure. I'm generally of the opinion that players should be rewarded for crazy ideas.

But just how crazy ideas in the real world sometimes have unintended consequences, so should crazy ideas in the game. Knowing the possible results in this case will have the following effects:. Read more. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Is possible to Chain-Activate Pearls of Power? Ask Question. Asked 5 years, 7 months ago. Active 4 years, 1 month ago.

Viewed 3k times. By RAW, we have this: Command Word: If the activation is on command or if no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it.

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This is the age of power pearls - and no one exploits their potency better than Condie Rice

So, I need to ask: Is that legal by the rules? Insight on how to deal with that on the table is welcome too. Sar - Reinstate Monica. Sar - Reinstate Monica T. Sar - Reinstate Monica The command word text reads, in part, A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the holder of the item runs the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. The description of the pearl of power reads, in part, This seemingly normal pearl of average size and luster is a potent aid to all spellcasters who prepare spells clerics, druids, rangers, paladins, and wizards.

The "Holder" minuntia will save my day on a argument. Good observation! Sar - Reinstate Monica Apr 15 '14 at Zitt Apr 16 '14 at Zitt Because only one standard action was spent, so only one pearl of power gets activated, because activating a command-word item requires a standard action. The random thing is because it's a way of implementing the ill-defined "accidental" rule.

The limitation comes from the action requirement. From the text you yourself quoted: Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Ernir Ernir The rules states that an item can be used accidentally. If so, why she can't "accidentally" activate all of her Pearls? Whoever wrote that line, that early in the game's development, really wasn't thinking about the ramifications of writing it. It is out of place in the context of the rest of the rules and begs a lot of questions like this one that cannot be satisfactorily answered.

Seldom-used spells, therefore, need not be prepared and take up valuable and limited room in one's head when one can easily carry around a few dozen scrolls in one's backpack. This scroll tactic is still employed, even when using POPs, but with POPs, one can take fewer multiple copies of the same spell and prepare a wider variety of spells, and use POPs in many more diverse situations instead of scrolls. If you guessed wrong which spells you'd need prepared that day, you'll have to replace a scroll or two, but you still won't go without the required spell since you do have a copy or two on scroll somewhere.

But if you guess right which spells you'll need that day, you'll soon discover you are using POPs more often, and having to replace fewer and fewer scrolls. This is a tremendous savings in XP, gold, and time - time to find the materials, time to find a decent place to write the scrolls, time to write the scrolls, and time to prepare one's spells again you could easily skip this last 15 to 60 minute long process on many days, since POPs take care of it in seconds. In fact, if one were ever separated from their spell book, one could conceivably use POPs to effectively give them more breathing room as they attempted to recover their book.

Soon, you'll discover yourself using many more spells much more freely since they are kind of free, and that's a huge advantage in power and diversity - and not just for combat, but for outside of combat, too. Many spells are well suited for things other than battle, after all. How often might you Detect Magic or use countless other spells if you could do it for free?

You just don't do that when it cost you something. In fact, this rather gets players thinking more about how to use many more spells in many different ways, and I think that's a good thing, too. Without that, they are often forced to carry a much less diverse selection of spells, and what they end up carrying are mostly combat spells, and they won't try to think of many non-combat uses for their spells. Pete, unfortunately, tended to couch most things in terms of combat and combat only, and looked at game balance only in terms of combat, often ignoring other possibilities or aspects of the game.

That's too bad - in the better games I've played in and this is just my opinion so don't complain to me if you disagree there is so much more to these games than just combat, and POPs open up many additional avenues with their power and diversity. Many magic items make less sense to make, too, if POPs are so easy to make. A Tongues spell item is cool, but can only be used for that function, while a POP and a Tongues spell will do as well, and better, since you frequently don't need that spell, but need another, and a POP is always diverse and ready to go with any spell you have, while a magic item is often constrained to one function that might rarely be needed.

If you guess wrong, you usually have a scroll backup, anyway. Sure, it's often wise to make permanently functioning magical protection items first, but POPs will be made second, and in far greater quantities. Even low-level POPs can be used with deadly effect. A gang of six 9th level wizards, each armed with a few 1st level POPs, can, for example, each cast Magic Missile on the target of choice for that round.

Effectively, since this spell rarely fails to work, has no save, and always hits, this group of wizards can deliver almost unfailingly 5 missiles each, or about 30 Magic Missiles per round to the target of choice, for an average of HPs of damage each round! This is deadly, incredibly surgical and precise, and these are just 1st level POPs and mid level casters.

In general, spell casters can do a lot of things a level or two sooner with a fistful of POPs than without them, and the savings in XP will get them to higher levels quicker, to boot. Anyway, Pete most often didn't agree with me or apparently share any my concerns, and it's not really my intent to give dozens of examples here. I can succinctly explain my reservations about this item and why I feel it's broken, especially if allowed to be manufactured much sooner than 17th level.


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First: It's essentially stackable. There is no practical limit on how many you and your party can use in a day.

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Also, with plus cloaks or plus weapons, when you find a better one, the lesser one become superfluous and often useless to you, while lower-level POPs remain as useful as ever, even when you now have higher-level POPs in your arsenal as well. Second: It's diverse, and potentially offensive as well as defensive, as needed. Any spell you have can be used to good effect with a POP of the appropriate level, and what you use it for today doesn't fix or limit what you can use it for tomorrow. Its diversity isn't even limited to your own spell repertoire so much as your entire party's repertoire.

Furthermore, a lot of magic items are defensive, and that's often not too unbalancing, but POPs can be as offensive as a spell caster can make them using their offensive combat spells. POPs are great, therefore, on offense as well as defense, and that's just for combat. They work in myriad ways outside of combat, too. Normally, you understand, when one makes a magic item, it's either offensive or defensive, good for combat but not outside it, or vice-versa, and that tends to limit its power, but POPs are either, as the occasion may demand, and switching back and forth like that is effectively twice the power for the same investment.

That's the power of diversity.


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Third: It's transferable. If made by a wizard or a cleric, it doesn't matter. Just hand it to a spell caster who prepares spells ahead of time, and they can use it. You don't even have to be a spell caster to make this item a useful possession for you. If you're a fighter, for example, owning your own POP, you can ask your party wizard or party cleric to cast a spell for you - one they have prepared, anyway, sure, but you can use a lot of the same spells they like to have handy for themselves - and they'd be hard pressed to refuse you.

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It's not like you are asking them to waste their limited resources, after all. You like being Healed , fine, you want to Fly , fine; as long as one of your party spell casters typically carries a spell you like, if you own a POP of that level, you can essentially get that spell cast on you once a day for free. Sure, this isn't quite as handy as an item, like a Fly spell item, but it's more diverse, as you can fly, or heal, or speak in tongues, or whatever, and you're never limited to just one function like most magic items are. Fourth: It's a tradable commodity.

Not only are they apparently easy to make the manufacture of magic items in 3e is almost as simple as bookkeeping, as long as you have the money but also there's little point in not making them. Even if you wanted to save your money for a more expensive item later, why do that when you can make POPs now, use them now, and easily carry them now, compared to lugging around hundreds of pounds of gold, or dozens of mundane gems or pieces of jewelry, which never help in combat or non-combat situations, apart from those of a purely economic nature?

Fifth: It often makes more sense to make POPs instead of scrolls, and it becomes wildly unrealistic if a world's NPCs aren't making them, too.