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The context: one of our valiant heroes is charged with committing a crime that he didn't commit! However, he doesn't have an alibi, and can't even remember where he was or what he was doing at the time of the crime...

The question: What fantastical methods in D&D 4E are there for tampering with a person's memory? By fantastical I mean excluding drugs/alcohol, blackouts due to unconsciousness etc, and including powers (both monster and PC), rituals, magic items. I am talking about any kind of memory alteration, whether false memories or memory wipes.

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did a PC implant this or did an NPC? –  wax eagle Jun 11 '12 at 13:10
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An NPC wizard with a diabolical mistress, so there's a lot of DM-created options if nothing more canonical turns up. –  ioanwigmore Jun 11 '12 at 13:22
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there are some rituals and powers, but you shouldn't feel bound to them. NPCs have access to basically whatever the plot needs –  wax eagle Jun 11 '12 at 13:24
    
I know I know, but I like to have a PC-mechanics-friendly basis for my maniacal plots as it helps to introduce ideas that I wouldn't've had otherwise. –  ioanwigmore Jun 11 '12 at 13:31

4 Answers 4

Faulty Memory - Skill Power (Bluff) Utility 6

You make a Bluff check opposed by an Insight check that the target makes as a free action. The target gains a +5 bonus to Insight if the target is unfriendly to the character, or a +10 bonus if the target is hostile. If your check succeeds, you make the target doubt its memory and believe your version of events.

My psion used this power frequently to cover his tracks while pulling off his betrayal of the party.

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Very nice. It's high risk (as all bluffs are), but being a non-magical power makes it so useful! –  ioanwigmore Jun 11 '12 at 13:29

If the image was implanted by an NPC you are in luck. NPCs are not bound by the same standards and rules as PCs and thus could do it.

I'd suggest centering your mission/campaign around something that does psychic damage and writing in something about him having a ritual or power that allowed him to implant/remove memories (Deva would be excellent for this IMO, and they already have interesting things with memories going on). Make the cost high, but not so high that its unrealistic.

If you need the PCs to modify memories that is far more difficult. However the L18 ritual Memory Seal from Dragon 366 will do the trick. It requires the target to be willing or helpless (sleeping counts though) for the duration of the ritual. It can be painful with an inadedquate arcana result, but is exactly what you are looking for.

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A reduced-level Memory Seal might be just what I'm after! What is the source for this ritual? –  ioanwigmore Jun 11 '12 at 13:27
    
@ioanwigmore added it to answer, it's in dragon 366. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '12 at 13:55
    
Memory Seal doesn't actually implant a false memory, just seals away a specified one. –  Ananisapta Jun 11 '12 at 14:33
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@Ananisapta that's true, but appears to meet the requirements here. –  wax eagle Jun 11 '12 at 14:35
    
@wax eagle - Sorry, it just appeared to be what you were implying by the wording of the second paragraph. –  Ananisapta Jun 11 '12 at 14:52

In addition to the methods already mentioned, the Wizard Level 2 Daily Utility 'Memory to Mist' (Dragon 381) might do the trick.

Target: One creature that is not involved in combat and that is lower level than you

Effect: The creature forgets everything that happened in the past 10 minutes and for the next 1 minute.

Bonuses include it's low-level, it being part of a wizard's arsenal, and the extra minute of memory erasure allowing the dastard who did it to run away with the target none the wiser that they were there at all.

As a side note, rituals such as the level 12 Hallucinatory Creature (Player's Handbook) can help to mess with an alibi, as you can use it to make something that looks just like them. More effectively, Alter Ego (Level 8, Martial Practice ritual) or Change Self (Level 6) can be used to disguise another individual as the PC, so the PC can be 'seen' somewhere they are not.

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Very useful! The side notes are also appreciated. –  ioanwigmore Jun 11 '12 at 14:55

Anything you can think of, and your list is a good starter ... but I don't think there is something specific in the "standard" 4e for memory alteration

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