The 6th-level corrupt spell consume likeness [necro] (Book of Vile Darkness 89), for those unfamiliar with it, lets the caster engage in a little bit of cannibalism and, thereafter, permanently--yeah, whenever he wants--the caster can take a standard action to change form into that dead humanoid he consumed. It's a neat spell, and, although I plan to use the spell in a Dungeons and Dragon 3.5 campaign, officially it was never updated from Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition.1
Needless to say the spell has a couple of pretty severe problems,2 but I've not seen this one addressed, even by the BV's lackluster and often rules-oblivious FAQ.3 I'm interested in the equipment angle of the spell consume likeness. The spell says that
The caster can take on the appearance and form--including clothing and equipment--of a corporeal humanoid that is freshly dead. The caster assumes the form of the creature as it looked when it lived. The caster must eat the flesh of the corpse whose form is to be assumed as he casts the spell. (BV 89)
Seriously? The spell duplicates the creature's gear? I don't expect there to be an official answer to this, like, at all, but I would appreciate advice on how to handle this spell from those who have used it or seen it used.
- Should the duplicated equipment be magic if the creature's original equipment's magic? If so, how should the DM adjudicate consumable magic items?
Should the duplicated equipment be mundane facsimiles of the creature's equipment?
- Assuming either of the above, can the caster of the spell consume likeness load up the dead humanoid with equipment before casting the spell to gain extra equipment when he assumes the dead humanoid's form?
Should the duplicated equipment be organic nonfunctional facsimiles of the creature's equipment?
Other opinions are welcome, but opinions suggesting I ban the spell outright will go unappreciated.
- The spell's presence in an unupdated text has little impact on the spell except to clarify Casting Time: 1 action to Casting Time: 1 standard action. However, it's possible, given the spell's unusual nature, to infer some connection to the supernatural ability alternate form referenced by many Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 form-changing spells.
- I'd argue the spell's caster probably has a few problems, too.
- I'm reluctant to post a link to the FAQ as it's ZIPped. You're better off hunting it down yourself.