Using the Command spell
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  1. #1

    Using the Command spell

    How would you guys handle the use of a command spell to command someone to "Drown"? From my interpretation of the spell, it seems like it would cause the character to attempt to find the closest sufficient body of water, submerge his head in it, and inhale. If there's a lake, river, ocean, etc. nearby, I would rule that the character would either leap into the water, or (if possible) find some way to climb/fly/crawl to the edge of the water so as to drown themselves. Upon doing so, they would essentially start following the drowning rules (http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/...nvironment.rtf) They would drop to 0 hp, and fall unconscious. Next round, they'd be at -1, and then the next round they'd die.
    Do you think that's too harsh? Do you think this is an inappropriate use of Command? Can you see a way a PC might be able to avoid this fate?

    Thanks.

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    Sure, it's good use of the terrain. Remember the duration - 1 round. If they don't find the water in one round, then they haven't been affected. (Of course, you still get AoOs against them if they start walking through your threatened area.)

    Check the D20 Modern SRD - it's at the top of this board.

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    I would say this tactic would work best if the individual was in a body of water to begin with.

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    Command to Drown

    Good question. The good news is that Command only lasts one round. So if the PC needs more than 1 round find a body of water to drown in, then it's wasted. However, if they are close enough to do this, let's assume the first round they take a movement action to get their head in the water and breathe. The next round, they are reduced to 0 hit points (staggered) and should be able to attempt to hold their breathe and take partial actions to get out of the water. It's still really dangerous for PC's but not a total killer as I see it.

  5. #5
    Also, a cruel DM could have the opponent take the command as a task to be carried out on someone else, causing the opponent to attempt to grab the nearest party member and dunk their head underwater. But that would only last 1 round as well.

    I always like to encourage players to use the command spell in creative new ways, other than just using the ever-so-popular: "die" or "sleep". The word you use is often open to interpretation, so sometimes the DM can foil your plans.

    In an old 1st edition module (A4) there's a final battle on a pier. The fight plan described for the enemy cleric is to cast command spell on a fighter in armor, telling him to "dive". So when the fighter dives off the pier, he is likely to drown before he gets his armor off. I always loved that one.

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    Originally posted by Doppleganger
    I always like to encourage players to use the command spell in creative new ways, other than just using the ever-so-popular: "die" or "sleep". The word you use is often open to interpretation, so sometimes the DM can foil your plans.

    In an old 1st edition module (A4) there's a final battle on a pier. The fight plan described for the enemy cleric is to cast command spell on a fighter in armor, telling him to "dive". So when the fighter dives off the pier, he is likely to drown before he gets his armor off. I always loved that one.
    As a player, I also like to find more creative uses for Command, especially ones that will cause an effect beyond one round. Some of my favorites are:

    "Spin" - You spin in a circle for six seconds and then try and pick up a sword and fight.

    "Strip" - Great for those who wear cumbersome or complicated armor.

    "Hug" - I used this on a hobgoblin standing in an archer's line behind cover. The hobgoblin next to him was not amused, and it took two archers out that round.

    "Clap" - This is the command you ready against that alchemist's fire-wielding opponent just as he gets ready to throw.

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    [sigh]

    Remember the Good Old Days (TM), when a one-round Command spell lasting a whole minute, with no save below 6HD or 13 Int?

    We used to use one round of "Cooperate" to great effect for sixty seconds of no-save, post-combat interrogation.

    How many questions-and-answers do you think you can fit in six seconds?

    -Hyp.

  8. #8
    Used against a warrior in a great closed faced helm, the best command word I ever saw used was simply this.....
    "PUKE."
    Things just went down hill from there.

  9. #9
    My PCs use "freeze", I can't figure out a way to make it NOT a coup de grace (He times it with another PC in melee--usually the rogue).

    Facing a flying wizard (the spell fly), the same PC used "crash".

    A couple years ago in an old campaign the party captured a cronie and the party had about a week of preparation in a safe place. I was a cleric, and each day I'd cast zone of truth on the prisoner, then used as many spell slots as I could manage for command: "confess". Eventually he finished confessing other stuff and gave us some insight as to what he was doing for the BBEG.


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    My PCs use "freeze", I can't figure out a way to make it NOT a coup de grace (He times it with another PC in melee--usually the rogue).
    It might be in the FAQ - I've seen it somewhere? - where it's sugested that even a "Sleep" or "Die" Command should treat you as Stunned, not Helpless - hence no CDG.

    -Hyp.

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