3
\$\begingroup\$

Doomspeak is a [bardic] feat from Champions of Ruin with the following benefit:

You can spend one of your bardic music uses to utter a string of crass and appalling epithets and curses at one enemy within 120 feet. The intended target must be able to hear and comprehend your damning remarks. A target that fails a Will save (DC 10 + your character level + your Cha modifier) is cursed with a -10 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks for 1 round. This is a supernatural, necromantic effect.

But do you use a standard action to activate it like bardic music, or is it a free action because it's based on speaking? It consumes a use of bardic music, but like Haunting Melody I believe that it isn't bardic music itself, and would thus be a free action, 'piggybacking' on the insults you are hurling as a free action. On the other hand, it's a "supernatural effect", so does that make it a (Su) ability and thus a standard action by default?

As a side note, does Dragonsong work with Doomspeak?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Trivia: The feat Doomspeak is the only feat possessing the type bardic, which *Champions of Ruin provides no description of; most feats like this instead have the type bardic music. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 14 at 23:40
4
\$\begingroup\$

An ability that produces a supernatural effect is a supernatural ability, and therefore defaults to being a standard action. You are correct that they really ought to have defined it as a bardic music ability itself, and in the absence of such a definition, it isn’t by RAW, but that is likely an oversight, which would be another reason to make it a standard action.

Finally, nothing “inherits” talking’s special action status—as a free action that can be taken out of turn, talking is basically entirely outside the action economy altogether. That is astoundingly powerful, even when it’s “just” talking. When it’s any kind of mechanical effect, it needs to be slotted into the action economy. For instance, see Diplomacy or Intimidate, which each take actions despite fundamentally being just talking. There may be some non-talking free-actions-out-of-turn, though honestly none come to mind and you can be very sure that such a thing would be explicitly stated if it were intended, not implied as you would have it here.

As for Dragonsong, it’s basically undefined whether or not Doomspeak can include poetry and therefore qualify for Dragonsong; you will have to ask your DM.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Instantaneous Rage (CW, p. 102) is the only example I know of a non-speaking, out-of-turn free action. It probably should have been an immediate action. \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Jan 15 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Insulting someone in poetic verse has a long and storied history, so I would say yes on adding Dragonsong. \$\endgroup\$ – Narf the Mouse Jan 15 at 19:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NarftheMouse Sure, but Doomspeak is a supernatural effect; who knows how it works? It really can only be up to the DM, Champions of Ruin doesn’t offer enough details to really say. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 15 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's your point, because I don't have a counterpoint. \$\endgroup\$ – Narf the Mouse Jan 16 at 3:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.