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D&D 5E 5e monsters that can indefinitely charm.....(SPOILER for N1:Against the cult of the Reptile God)

Casimir Liber

Explorer
So was in process of converting N1:Against the cult of the Reptile God and realised that 1e spirit nagas can permanently charm victims, while 5e ones can't (and this is obviously part of the plot hook). was. Given I am only just familiarising myself with alot of 5e monsters...are there any that have an indefinite charm/dominate/suggestion ability...?
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I just ran this (and the first three issues of my zine were a remix of this) and the answer is no, but I just gave the naga "superior domination" as an ability and ran with it. I also ran it for 4th level PCs who advanced to 6th by its end.

Here is the stat block I made up for Explicita Defilus (renamed)

Perspicua-Besmirch-2.jpg
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
This looks like a good fix. I was looking at spells etc. online before this popped up. Given you've run it at 5e, sounds like it runs more smoothly with higher-level PCs rather than trying to tone it down for 1st or 2nd level PCs overall.
 

Yora

Legend
In AD&D and Basic, charm effects were very long lasting to begin with. Even a first level wizard with the spell could charm a lot of people for a long time, just with one spell every day.
It doesn't have a limited duration at all, and instead allows a new saving throw to break it after certain intervals. For most people, once per week, and low level NPCs have a hard time making the save, which is not modified by the caster's level or attributes.
Charm effects in AD&D are much stronger than in 3rd or 5th edition.
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
In AD&D and Basic, charm effects were very long lasting to begin with. Even a first level wizard with the spell could charm a lot of people for a long time, just with one spell every day.
It doesn't have a limited duration at all, and instead allows a new saving throw to break it after certain intervals. For most people, once per week, and low level NPCs have a hard time making the save, which is not modified by the caster's level or attributes.
Charm effects in AD&D are much stronger than in 3rd or 5th edition.
Yeah the duration thing is interesting. Is a central part of the plot though.....
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Changes like this in 3e-5e has extremely effected the feel of the game for me negatively as both a DM and a player. I wish these types of changes would've been the exception rather than the norm. But as a DM if I want an effect, I just make it happen, because magic.

The only thing that 5e did here was removed strong effects which require a lot of codification in the rules, making them heavy, unwieldy and prone to rules-lawyering, and translated some of them in monster stat blocks where they are efficiently located, and where they can be no discussion since it's clearly a DM's only area.

And while I agree that some of them were not transcribed, in general, there is absolutely no problem with implementing the 3e (or 4e, actually) effects straight out of the box. It has the added advantage of making it more mysterious and less prone to metagaming. Finally, as these are fairly rare effects, usually local to a specific situation and monster, there is indeed no reason to clutter the general rules with all these details, and it leaves the DM free to improvise if the players are being particularly clever about the situation. For me, it's win only.
 

The only thing that 5e did here was removed strong effects which require a lot of codification in the rules
Not sure Im following you. I dont see how changing the spell duration would require any more or less codification than there already is other than save intervals an DCs.
 

AtomicPope

Adventurer
There are some monsters that have an indefinite charm ability, but there's always some explicit way to break free in the description. Starting in the 'A' section of the Monster Manual we have the Aboleth's Enslave ability:
Enslave (3/Day). The aboleth targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the aboleth until the aboleth dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target. The charmed target is under the aboleth's control and can't take reactions, and the aboleth and the target can communicate telepathically with each other over any distance. Whenever the charmed target takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. On a success, the effect ends. No more than once every 24 hours, the target can also repeat the saving throw when it is at least 1 mile away from the aboleth.

Typically, when a charmed creature takes damage from the charmer or their companions they're allowed another save to break free but other conditions are available like in this particular case.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Not sure Im following you. I dont see how changing the spell duration would require any more or less codification than there already is other than save intervals an DCs.

See this post, when you change a parameter like this, it usually means that you need to also foreseen means to get rid of it, or what happens if there is interference with a longer effect, etc.
 

See this post, when you change a parameter like this, it usually means that you need to also foreseen means to get rid of it, or what happens if there is interference with a longer effect, etc.
Certain things yes you need to give careful consideration to before changing but this I dont see as one. Charm person doesnt make the person a blithering automoton. They still have some semblance of free will so after the initial encounter it probably would only come into play infrequently when the caster and thrall meet.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Certain things yes you need to give careful consideration to before changing but this I dont see as one. Charm person doesnt make the person a blithering automoton. They still have some semblance of free will so after the initial encounter it probably would only come into play infrequently when the caster and thrall meet.

Yes and no, it depends on your campaign and players expectations, but I know that some players would be annoyed as being forced to be "friends" with the enemy for a long time. And in a way, it's more insidious, you cannot even plot against the caster as he is your friend.
 

Yes and no, it depends on your campaign and players expectations, but I know that some players would be annoyed as being forced to be "friends" with the enemy for a long time. And in a way, it's more insidious, you cannot even plot against the caster as he is your friend.
Think it depended on how you handle it as a DM and the person who charmed a PC doesnt necessarily need to be an enemy so...
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Think it depended on how you handle it as a DM and the person who charmed a PC doesnt necessarily need to be an enemy so...

The problem is the dichotomy between the player and the character. The player knows he's an enemy, but is obliged to roleplay his character as a friend of the caster. Some of our players love this and can play it forever with delectation, some other players really hate it, especially if it lasts.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Have a ritual charm/dominate ability.

In combat they act similarly, plot wise it acts like 3e. You win the fight, start the ritual, and weak minded people are now your thralls.

You can limit how many a naga can control.
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
The problem is the dichotomy between the player and the character. The player knows he's an enemy, but is obliged to roleplay his character as a friend of the caster. Some of our players love this and can play it forever with delectation, some other players really hate it, especially if it lasts.
Players have enjoyed roleplaying being subtly charmed in ourgroup.
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
All interesting points - I was curious over how it can be enacted the same way as the 1e module without actually changing canon (I do like to see if I can tweak things within canon before changing otherwise). It (sort of) works by switching the spirit naga with an aboleth, or by giving the naga geas instead of dominate as a 5th level spell, or giving it a ritual as well, or going with el remmen's naga above. The more I think about it, the more I think it works as a higher level module anyway. All other input welcome.

In general I have to say I am happier with shorter duration charms as can be tricky to run and frustrating to play in the long term .. so prefer as a rarer occurrence
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I haven't run this in 5e yet, but my intention is to give the naga a magic item/minor artifact that grants her charm abilities to match what's needed in the adventure as written (more or less). Only she can attune to it, so its most potent powers will remain beyond reach of PCs if they decide to risk using it.

For my campaign there's a rationale behind all this, of course. But for the standalone adventure, just making it a magic item is a lazy way to get around the 5e updates to the naga.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
If you don't like the "it's magic!" solution, you could alter the adventure such that the cult is more widespread and has a lot more willing participants and no charmed dupes. This will also alter the tone of the adventure so that it's less "we need to take out this monster to free the mentally enslaved innocent victims" and more paranoid "we need to take out this cult and by the way, the boss monster, too."

I'd really play up the paranoia of who (if anyone!) in town can be trusted.

Go (re-)read Shadow over Innsmouth for the feel.
 


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