Sage Advice Collection

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 11DR031 Dragon #31 Can a Magic Mouth spell be programmed to say a spell?  No. It states this clearly in the spell description, and I quote: ďIt cannot speak magic spells.Ē 
 12DR031 Dragon #31 We are having an argument as to whether or not a character was killed in combat. You see, we had to leave him lying on the floor of a dungeon and could not find him when we returned. One guy (it was his character) says that he got up and left. Well, we found out later that the character we had had to leave had been assassinated by another player-character. Well, the guy who assassinated the first character says he is dead and the other guy says he isn't, and now everyone is divided over the issue. Is the guy dead or not?  I couldnít tell you. I take it that you are not the DM by the wording of your question. All that I can say is whatever your DM says about the issue must stand. Whether he was killed or not is not up to the players to decide, IT IS UP TO THE DM. The DM has apparently decided not to tell you one way or the other, and that is his right. You also mentioned in your letter your concern about players arguing through their characters. If your DM wishes to allow strife in the dungeon, that too is his business. Interaction between characters is encouraged, and sometimes arguments and misunderstanding will manifest themselves. This is to be expected. In fact. it isnít necessarily out of line for them to turn on each other. Some DMs encourage this. Remember, whatever the DM decides is final. If you donít like the way he plays, donít play with him. The only way you can get a DM to play differently is to remove your character from his game. If enough people do this, hopefully he will see the error of his ways and attempt to mend them. I cannot stress enough the fact that you shouldnít argue with your DM. His word is the final say in his campaign. 
 13DR032 Dragon #32 What kind of monster is on the cover of the DUNGEON MASTERS GUIDE? What are its hit dice, armor class, and so forth?  The monster is an Efreeti and can be found in the Monster Manual. 
 14DR032 Dragon #32 Under the Lycanthropy section of the DUNGEON MASTERS GUIDE it states that a paladin caught the disease. Paladins can’t contract disease. Please explain why you said this.  Lycanthropy is not a disease, but it is often called one. To become a lycanthrope you must contract it like a disease even though it is a curse. If it were a real disease, a Remove Curse would not work on it, and a Cure Disease would not have a three-day time limit on it. Lycanthropy is very complicated, and paladins are not exempt from it. Paladins already have it pretty good; we canít let them have everything rosy. 
 15DR032 Dragon #32 We are having an argument over an issue that has us divided. My friends say that with a ring of telekinesis they can make an arrow spin at the speed of light and then release it, having it do between 100 and 600 points of damage to their target. I say this is impossible! What do you think?  I agree with you. Their idea, based on whatever logic they may have used, is absurd. First, the ring works as per the spell and the maximum speed any object can reach is 1,024Ē per round. Second, even if you were able to make the arrow reach the speed of light, the wooden shaft and the feathers could not stand the force and would be destroyed. I also doubt that you can control any thing that is going that fast and it might strike you. Lastly, I know of nothing that can inflict 600 points of damage. The most damage that can be taken in one melee from one opponent is from a Platinum Dragon, and that is 168 points from his breath weapon. 
 16DR032 Dragon #32 I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for several months, to the point where I have challenged Asmodeus and won! Is Asmodeus in a lemure state now, until he can regain his former status, or is Baalzebul in charge?  WHEW! Either way, Iíd say you are in trouble. There are varying views on this question. One side agrees with you when you say that he is in a lemure state, while others say Asmodeus is just banished from the plane you defeated him on. Others go so far as to say that Asmodeus is not dead, but just waiting to get you when you least expect it. Any way you look at it, you, my friend, are in trouble. If he is just in lemure state, then when he is back in full power he is going to come looking for you to make sure you donít do that again. If he is dead, forever gone, then Baalzebul is going to come looking for you to make sure you donít get a chance to do it to him. Without all the facts on how you mananged to defeat him, it is impossible for me to give you a clear-cut answer. I can make suggestions, but when it comes right down to what exactly happened and what state he is in, that is a DM decision. I feel that after several months of playing D&D you cannot be anywhere near powerful enough to challenge the arch-devil himself. However, since you say you defeated him, I would venture that he is just banished from the plane you killed him on. I would also say that at the first opportunity, he will bring you to hell to finish you off. Good luck. You are going to need it. 
 17DR032 Dragon #32 I have a magic-user who has bracers of defense armor class 2, a +2 protection ring and a dexterity of 16 giving him the armor class of -2. This is wonderful, but the fighters want to hide behind me and use me as a shield because of my great armor class. I don’t think this is fair. They say they can shoot arrows around me and we will all be safe. They also say that since I have the best armor class I should be out in front. The DM is no help, they just bully him. What can I do?  The first thing you can do is stand up for your rights. Your armor class is not due to the armor you wear, but your ability to dodge blows and missiles. They can be hit by what you have just dodged. Also tell them they are cowards and have no right to call themselves fighters! I would not go adventuring with a group of people who used a magic-user for a shield. That is disgusting. They should be thankful you have such a good armor class. It means that you, being the weakest in hit points, wonít be getting hit as often and the party wonít greatly risk losing their most powerful character, their spell-caster. Tell your fighters to wise up. If they lose their magic-user, they have lost their most potent weapon. Tell your DM not to let them bully him around. His word is final, PERIOD. 
 18DR032 Dragon #32 Is a wand of fire balls like a staff, in that if you break it it will cause an explosion?  If you break your wand, all you will have is a broken wand. The only staves capable of a final strike are Staff of the Magi and Staff of Power. 
 19DR032 Dragon #32 Can a god grant an elf the ability to become a druid?  No. A god or goddess can grant the ability for an elf to be his or her priest or priestess, but he canít bestow upon an elf druidical powers. Druids get their powers from nature. Now, a god who might take pity on your elf may change him or her into a human, but I doubt it. You might also find a wish that will let you change into a human, but other than that your elf is never going to be able to be a druid. 
 20DR032 Dragon #32 I have a female character who has gotten herself pregnant. How should I handle this?  I donít really want to answer this question now, but since your letter is not the only one presenting me with this problem, I will say this much. Stop fighting, practicing magic and doing other things that cause stress. The chances of losing the child are great, and you donít need to add more to it. During this time period, medicine was still progressing and it still wasnít too great. Most of it was old wivesí tales. After you have given birth, it will be months before you can even begin to get back into shape and practice your skills. Female characters who find themselves with child soon find themselves retired. This is an occupational hazard that should be avoided. Donít fool around and chance of gaining at all that experience you could be getting because you are with child or just had one. It is not fair, but that is life. The reason I donít want to say more is because I am working on an article for The Dragon about women in D&D and some of the problems they face. I also intend to cover pregnancy in the different races and how to handle it. 
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