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I know that when a vampire turns gaseous, their gear turns with them - but what I want to know is if a vampire can choose to go gaseous and leave items behind (such as armour or other worn items).

There's nothing specifically that says you can't, and I would have thought that it wouldn't be difficult to do.

Is it possible for a vampire to willingly leave items behind when assuming gaseous form?

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what I want to know is if a vampire can choose to go gaseous and leave items behind

No. Since, once gaseous,

The subject and all its gear become insubstantial

However, since

As a standard action, a vampire can assume gaseous form

there's nothing stopping a vampire from dropping items before they become gaseous, and for held items, since

Dropping an item in your space or into an adjacent square is a free action.

this could be done in one turn. But, as you asked,

such as armour or other worn items

this would take the requisite action(s) before the standard action to become gaseous.

While it certainly seems reasonable sometimes to assume certain tasks are plausible, you have to take into account the action paradigm in the game. Any action, even non-actions, still occur in time order. Attacks of opportunity, immediate actions, talking as a free action, and completing a readied action are exceptions that can interrupt the action order, but even then, within the flow of combat, there is a strict order. It can seem a bit awkward at times, but overall the concept of turns and actions prevents things like this from happening, where an actor can't simply perform a series of tasks without the possibility of interruption. It is sometimes tempting as a DM to allow exceptions, but in the end, it will make the game less predictable and ultimately unfair.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "No. Since, once gaseous" I was thinking more of while changing so not gaseous yet, probably doesn't make any difference though. Also, does html not work when you comment? \$\endgroup\$ – SgtGrarm Nov 4 '15 at 8:30
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When a vampire assumes gaseous form it does so as if it used the 3rd-level Sor/Wiz spell gaseous form [trans] (PH 234), which says that a creature that uses the spell

can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form.

Emphasis mine. Thus a creature that assumes gaseous form assumes such a form with all it was wearing or holding when the form was assumed and can't drop stuff simultaneous with the effect's activation nor during the effect's duration.

A house rule allowing a creature that assumes gaseous form to abandon simultaneously some or all of its worn and carried items if it wants to seems reasonable, but I'd be on the lookout for PCs who attempt to abuse such a house rule by, for example, "leaving behind" their hats under which happen to be thunderstones, flasks of alchemist's fire, or worse.

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Considering that you just "change your form without adjusting your ability scores", I'd say that if you choose to drop a held item as a free action the item is no longer part of your inventory, thus it becomes excluded from your ability. Thins also would apply to worn items as long as it followed the rules for getting in and out of Armour. Of course, this brings the added challenge of the sound that the item makes when it is dropped. It would be almost suicidal if you were trying to drop a cursed item for some adventurers to use and not be discovered, but it's a fantastic way to fake your death if you also have quickdraw to remove your visible equipment before casually drifting with the wind. But if THAT is your intention, make sure you aren't removing armour; they might get wise if there is a floating cloud in the middle of the field for a full minute and suddenly a breastplate falls on the floor...

Once again visible equipment.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You aren't covering items worn; as was specifically mentioned in the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Nov 3 '15 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut thanks for the tip. I do cover it, but I have incorrect info right now. I'll update it immediately \$\endgroup\$ – Areadbhair Nov 3 '15 at 2:04

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