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Thoughts on the Cancer Mage

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Hunter UK View Post
Not much of a D&D expert, but can this Cancer Mage actually give characters cancer?
IF you (or the DM) stat(s) cancer as a D&D disease, yes.

Cancer Mage in a nutshell:

Immune to the negative effects of all diseases, but still 'suffers' from them - and acts as a carrier / can infect others.
Also gains abilities that mimic sickness and disease-relates spells - and can temporarily imbue a disease with limited intelligence, allowing him to share the senses of an infected individual or later dominate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerK View Post
I lump 3.0 and 3.5 into the same thing unless something was specifically axed/updated for 3.5. After all there are no written rules that say they are actually different....unless there are?
Actually, WotC stated formally that anything not officially updated to 3.5 edition is still valid in 3.5 edition.

Back to the original question, I think that a cancer mage is an excellent "pathetic" villain, or a good NPC to throw around as one of the mookish minions of a bigger threat. I see them as being a kind of groveling hobo king, usually-- immensely useful to an evildoer, but also pretty much unable to defend himself effectively from anyone determined to track him down.

You know. The guy who the PCs corner in an alleyway as he roots through the garbage, who rats out the big bad guy when threatened.

I see the main challenge in defeating this archetype as being FINDING him-- digging around in pubs, gathering information, patrolling a beat until you get lucky. It doesn't necessarily have to come to blows if the obstacle is searching him out; it's a nice bone to throw to the party's skill monkey.

teacups, that's *exactly* the line of thinking I was starting to go with. They would be a great "early-campaign" baddie. Like they are responsible for all these terrible things but then you find out they were just a mook for a bigger baddie, either out of fear or they struck a bargain of some sort.

And yeah, I thought they could be a good "pathetic" baddie too. Like when the party finally finds him/her/it, and things come to blows, it might grovel and beg for its life or for forgiveness or whatever. Could be a good RP opportunity for the players. Do they kill it to either put it out of its misery or avenge the people it killed/tormented, or do they let it go, or do they try to help it somehow?

If I were you I would have the Cancer Mage infect one of the PC's and when they sleep at night have that PC lose control of his own body and force him to do horrible things (relative to his/her alignment of course). Make it a sort of a mystery-based adventure and keep the characters guessing, as I've always seen the Cancer Mage as extremely subtle, insane, and cunning. As long as the PC's dont encounter him/her/it for a while you should have no need to fear them killing him early. Or if your players don't like mystery you could have the mage raise an army of cliche zombies with his disease magic and end the adventure in a brutally epic combat instead of a tension-wrought confrontation with the cancerous puppet-master.




 

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