11
\$\begingroup\$

Reference:

According to Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, page 111:

Those who taste or touch the waters of the Styx must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude saving throw or be affected by total amnesia. Treat the victim as if feebleminded (as the feeblemind spell). Even those who make their saves lose all memory of the events of the past 8 hours. Prepared spells remain in memory, although the victim might not realize they’re prepared. Evil outsiders with the aquatic subtype are immune to the memory-draining effects of the River Styx.


Dilemma:

Nothing I have read in Manual of the Planes, Planar Handbook, nor Fiendish Codex I state that the water must remain in the river for its effect; the water can/cannot be packaged; the effect does/does not expire if it is packaged.

I am unaware of any prior editions that address the dilemma(s) above.


Question:

Is it possible to bottle [it] up and use as a feebleminding splash weapon?

\$\endgroup\$
17
\$\begingroup\$

Answer: This is up to the DM and they should consider the party's intentions with the stuff. Various books provide an inconclusive answer due to inconsistent descriptions of the Styx and the ontology on if water stops being a river if it leaves the river.

Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells says the following (p.39):

Any living mortal who comes into contact with the Styx must make a successful DC 25 Fortitude saving throw or be afflicted with temporary amnesia. The DC increases to 30 if more than half the character’s body is immersed, and to 35 for full immersion. The amnesia lasts for 3d6 days.

The Manual of the Planes says this (p.86):

The River Styx: This river bubbles with grease, foul flotsam, and putrid remains of battles along its banks. Those who taste or touch its water must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 17) or suffer total amnesia. Treat the victim as if feebleminded (as the feeblemind spell). Even those who make their saves lose all memory of the events of the last 8 hours. Prepared spells remain in memory, although the victim might not realize they’re prepared.

In both cases, emphasis mine.

The first says those who touch the river, while the latter says its water. Fiendish Codex I says "The waters of the Styx". This means that there are three different descriptions of the same body of water.

And that's where we hit a snag. Take a bottle, go to a nearby river and scoop it full of water. What's in the bottle? A river? Water? Riverwater? Depending on your interpretation it can be any three of them. This is a philosophical point that the rulebooks do not answer.

A look per case, can you scoop water from the Styx and have it retain its properties according to the description of:

  • Fiendish Codex I: Can go either way, depending on your interpretation of "The waters of the Styx.".
  • Fiendish Codex II: No, because it specifies touching the Styx and not its water.
  • Manual of the Planes: Can go either way, but leans towards a Yes.

So we have a Yes, a No and a neutral answer, meaning the score's a tie.

Conclusion: It is up to the DM. Determine a yes/no depending on how likely the party will try and abuse it. In case they do, deploy max hit die fiendish giant octopi.

If you do go with using the water, make sure to not touch the bottle as you take it out. Make sure to dry it off and NOT TOUCH whatever you do that with, lest you suffer the effects anyway.

Or cast a Maximized (and maybe Extended too) Hoard Gullet on yourself when you're at least level 10 (Dragon Magic, p.68) and find a way to fit 680 liters of the Styx into your mouth (note: only works if water from the Styx is the same mass and density as regular water), allowing you to haul around 1500 pounds of water which you can expel from your body into your square as a full-round action (bring protection). Then fly over some people you dislike and drop it on their heads. Serves them right.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the relevance of ontology. (And for the fiendish giant octopi.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 10 '15 at 18:19
-4
\$\begingroup\$

I would just make it a house rule. You can choose whatever you want.

It's possible that the river itself holds the feeblemind effect, so the bottled sample of the water would be completely benign.

The river could hold the power, but removing the water might not immediately remove the effects. Perhaps for every day that the water is separate from the river, it loses 1 hour of its feeblemind effect, or the DC becomes lower. As @AOKost mentioned, you could even require an alchemy check to see if a player can maintain the potency of the water.

Alternatively, the water could hold its potency no matter what form it takes, so bottling it up and throwing it on an enemy could have the same effect as a person touching the river's water directly. You could make it so that the user of the bottled-water weapon has to roll some kind of save to avoid splashing it on himself, even.

This use allows for the possibility of "poisoning" someone through the means of pouring the Styx water in their food or drink as well as through the use of poisoned weapons (i.e. a rogue could dip his dagger in the water before attacking, putting the water directly into the victim's bloodstream).

Of course, the amount of water ingested or with which the victim makes contact may determine the potency or DC of the feeblemind effect as well. So it seems to me that it would all be up to the DM's discretion, but that the rules should be decided upon ahead of time. (Although just because you decide it works a particular way doesn't mean the party knows this. They can still bottle it up and throw it on an enemy, only to find out that the effect wore off days ago.)

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I suspect the reason for the downvotes is that we generally expect evidence that 'house rule' answers have been tried and tested and proved in practice to work \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jan 12 '15 at 10:18
-5
\$\begingroup\$

There are no specific rules concerning it one way or the other. You could rule that to get the same effects that the person would have to make an alchemy check to create a concoction that acts just like the water from the Styx, or that keeping the bottled Styx watter "fresh" requires a Alchemy check... But any way you go about incorporating similar affects into the game.

There are no rules as written (that I know of) that specify what you can or can not do with the actual water from the Styx, only it's effects if toutched or ingested, so wether you say it can or can not be done would both be houserules.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect the reason for the downvotes is that we generally expect evidence that 'house rule' answers have been tried and tested and proved in practice to work \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jan 12 '15 at 10:19

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.