Post by Mordorandor on Jan 2, 2022 16:46:57 GMT -6
I lean toward and adjudicate in the same spirit as dicebro. “Let the Wizard have this,” because that makes 1st-level Wizards dangerous. The target comes under the complete influence of the Wizard. To “balance” the spell, the target gets a saving throw (it’s not a sleep spell, by any means) and if it’s unsuccessful, I count the new NPC ally as one of the Wizard’s special hirelings, the total of which is limited by the Charisma score (or some such random die mechanic) of the Wizard, and whose actions/reactions are influenced by dice (morale checks, etc.).
The description of the effect is, “If the spell is successful it will cause the charmed entity to come completely under the influence of the Magic-User.”
I read that as meaning the subject is not merely (as in later editions) of a trusting and protective disposition, but is effectively a zombie-like puppet.
This is certainly in keeping with much literary and cinematic source material.
I think it may indeed have been the original intent. The Supplement I addition of a periodic save to break the spell seems probably predicated on its being otherwise too powerful, which is less warranted with the more subtle effect later stipulated (which is in its own right a ‘nerfing’).
I feel fine with having both variations existing in the same campaign.
With the truly complete domination version, my rule is firstly that the caster must concentrate on controlling the other figure instead of just telling it off to take independent action. Without that, the subject takes no action. Secondly, when the subject is beyond the spell’s range it regains volition until the caster again asserts control.
With the more subtle influence version, range is relevant only to giving instructions. The subject will continue to follow those even when beyond the spell’s range. With this version, I’ll give a save to resist something that is — even when viewed in the most favorable way — too contrary to the subject’s nature. In a case of extreme conflict, I’ll even let that automatically end the spell.