Name: Pamela Wilson
Comments: In a game that I'm in, the DM has decided to go with a lycan vs. vampire concept, and this has created a few conundrums. Can you give your input as to these conundrums?
One of the characters in our group is a dragon disciple, and another character is a barbarian. Both of them decided to take the vampire route, but no one is sure what happens with their constitution-increasing abilities. For example, when the barbarian rages, would that increase his charisma, instead of his constitution?
So far as I can find, whenever a creature doesn't have an ability score (such as a construct or an undead or an incorporeal) generally they use another ability score for all purposes the other would cover. For example, undead use their charisma modifier to determine health and fortitude bonuses, as they don't have a constitution score.
QUESTION: When a creature doesn't have an ability score, and that ability score receives an increase from an ability/spell, how does that effect the creature?
Gamer Forge Response:
Bad mojo! When playing as an undead template, DCR says:
Short answer: Nope.
Undead and (most) constructs don't get a Constitution score at all. And as you have no score to increase, you gain no bonus from a barbarian's rage or a dragon disciple's increased Constitution score. Official ruling says you're hosed. Sorry. Maybe as a house rule, you can find a way to grant a bonus of some kind, like substituting the Charisma score for the Constitution score.
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Comments: Can you help explain something for me?
On page 74 of the DMG (Step 5: Consequences), it says that if you fail a skill challenge, it can become more difficult, such as detouring you in a different direction. Could you attempt the same challenge again at a higher difficulty? So, could you try 'talking to the ogre again,' but since it already knows what you want, it makes it more complex and you need to work harder for the answer?
Gamer Forge Response:
You've got skills, but do they pay the bills? When getting a second chance is your first priority, DCR says:
Yes and no. Depends on the skill.
You can get a second chance to talk a dwarf out of his lunch, but you can't fall to your death twice. It's called consequence of failure. If failing your attempt leads to something permanent or in any way irreversible, then you shouldn't get a second try. Otherwise, give 'em another try, provided the player decides to try again. Some examples of skill checks that do not get a second chance:
Note that these examples have something in common. Either you succeed at them, or you don't. You either forage enough food for the day, or you resort to eating your rations. You are able to hear what's coming, or you don't. Most other skills allow for a second try on the following round. Just remember the risk of the check involved and the consequences of not succeeding.
*Bonus XP: Even though you don't have a Constitution score for being a vampire, you do still gain all the other benefits of your class/race. Yes, it stinks that you don't gain bonus hit points and increased CON, but you gain a totally sweet damage reduction, immunities, and then there's the whole immortality thing. So before we hear you moaning about not getting something, count your blessings. Even awesomeness has a price.