Celestial Aspect Horns of the Cervidal: (BoED 93)

Ramlike horns sprout from the target’s head. The target can charge an opponent with its deadly horns. In addition to the normal benefits and hazards of a charge, this tactic allows the creature to make a single gore attack that deals 1d8 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times the target’s Strength modifier. Any summoned or called creature struck by the horns is dismissed instantly.

Our group had a discussion if the dismissal part of the horn only works on a charge or also on a normal horn attack.


1 Answer 1


The 3rd-level sanctified spell celestial aspect [trans] (Book of Exalted Deeds 93) is unclear on the effect of the horns of the cervidal. Going back to the source, the description of the cervidal's supernatural ability horn powers says that

A cervidal can deliver any of several effects by a touch of its horns. The horns can… dismiss (as a dismissal spell) a summoned, conjured, or extraplanar creature. [This] horn power… can be used at will as a standard action. (Monster Manual II 43)

This supports a reading of the horns of the cervidal effect enabling a creature to deliver the dismissal effect with even a melee touch attack of its new, sanctified horns.

However, if the horns of the cervidal effect is read as being automatic (and it appears it should be)—therefore offering the victim no saving throw—, this DM would rule that a cervidal horned creature must charge and hit the called or summoned creature to activate the dismissal effect. A 3rd-level spell—even a sanctified one dealing the caster 1d3 points of Strength damage when the spell ends—shouldn't be able to easily end an encounter with a pit fiend! (Especially since the victim's spell resistance may not even apply!)

Which choice will depend on the DM. You're going to have to ask him.

You're gone; no save is no fun

Most likely, though, this DM would take a controversial middle ground: The dismissal effect of the horns of the cervidal activate upon the creature with its horns making a melee touch attack or attack at the end of a charge, but the touched or charged creature then gets the standard special saving throw against this dismissal effect (DC = spell’s save DC – affected creature’s Hit Dice + the celestial aspect caster's caster level).

This prevents the aforementioned automatic banishing of high-level threats and keeps the spell's power in line with a 3rd-level spell. Although this might disappoint the players initially, such a house rule also prevents PCs from the Prime who are off-plane from being automatically returned to a random location on their home plane (80%) or a random location on another plane (20%) when they encounter a good caster who just wants them removed from the action.


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