Sorcerous Possession (5e Spell)

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Sorcerous Possession
6th-level Necromancy
Casting time: 10 minutes
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 hour or until dispelled

This spell is the sorcerous equivalent to the wizard's Magic Jar, though where that spell emphasizes control and complexity, Sorcerous Possession demonstrates the Sorcerer's raw magic and flexibility. As such, it should be adjudicated as equivalent except for the following changes: no material vessel intermediary is used, and the sorcerer's body transforms into a possessing spirit. The creature the sorcerer possesses also retains the sorcerer's current hit point total while possessed, and if the sorcerer is ejected, their body appears adjacent to the formerly possessed creature, stunned for one round.

After the 10 minute casting time, you have one hour to attempt your first possession. If that one hour elapses without an attempt, or the first possession attempt is resisted, the spell ends.

To possess a creature, either as yourself, or while possessing another creature, you spend an action concentrating on any humanoid within 100 feet of you that you can see (creatures warded by a protection from evil and good or magic circle spell can’t be possessed). The target may resist the possession with a Charisma saving throw. If the target fails, either your body vanishes (if you were not currently possessing a creature), or you leave your current host, who is stunned for their next action. In both cases, your soul enters the target, and you are momentarily confused. The target can continue to act normally for its next turn, and you are considered stunned for your next turn. When you begin the turn after that stunned turn, the target loses consciousness and is no longer aware of its surroundings.

While possessing a creature, as with Magic Jar, you control it. Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the creature, though you retain your alignment and your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Unlike Magic Jar, you also retain your current and maximum hit point totals. You retain the benefit of your own class features. If the target has any class levels, you can’t use any of its class features.

Once you possess a creature, you may continue to attempt to possess other creatures, in a chain. Each time you leave one creature, it regains its awareness and ability to act, and is stunned on its next turn. You may cancel the spell at any time, in which cast you appear in a spot of your choice adjacent the current host, and the current host is stunned for its next turn, while you may act. Your hit points return the total you had when you first possessed a creature. When you leave a host body, the host creature's hit point total becomes that that it previously had, minus the net damage you accrued during your time possessing it. If this drops the creature to 0 hit points, it begins to die.

For example: A sorceress with a maximum of 40 hit points, who has taken 5 points of damage, possesses an ogre with 70 hit points. During the possession, the possessed host body will have 35 hit points and can only be healed to 40 hit points. During the possession, the sorceress takes 10 hit points of damage, reducing the body's total to 25, and then ends the spell. The sorceress then appears beside the ogre. At that point, the sorceress returns to her original 35 hit point total, while the ogre's total becomes 60 (its original 70, minus the 10 lost), and is stunned, while the sorceress is not.

If the possessed body dies while you are possessing it, as in Magic Jar, you must make a Charisma saving throw against your own spellcasting DC. On a success, you appear in a spot of your choosing adjacent to the host, with your original hit point total, stunned for one turn. On a failure, you die and your corpse appears in a random spot beside the host. If the possessed body died for a reason other than hit point loss, or if its hit points at the moment of possession were equal to or less than yours, the creature also dies. However, if the possessed body died from hit point loss, and it had more hit points than you when you possessed it, instead of dying, it takes damage equal to the net damage it took while possessed. If this does not bring it to 0 hit points, it does not die, and is stunned for two turns. Regardless of the outcome, the spell ends.

For example: If a 35 hit point sorceress possesses a 35 hit point orc, and the orc is killed by a sword blow, the sorceress must make a Charisma saving throw to survive, and regains her original hit points if she does. The orc dies regardless. If a 35 hit point sorceress possesses a 70 hit point ogre, however, and takes 30 hit points damage, is healed for 5, and then damaged again for 15 points, the possessed body is reduced to 0 hit points and begins to die. When that body dies, the sorceress may again make a saving throw to avoid death. The ogre, however, returns to 30 hit points (its original 70 hit points, minus the net 40 damage accrued during its possessed time) and is stunned for two turns.

If the spell is ended prematurely by an outside source (for example, a successful Dispel Magic), you are ejected as if you voluntarily ended the spell, but are also stunned for one round.

Ride-Along Mode

Whenever you attempt to possess a creature, you may choose to do so in ride-along mode. In this mode, the creature retains control of their body, and their senses, though their hit points are affected as normal. The host is aware of being possessed, but cannot tell what you are doing. You may use their senses, and communicate with the host telepathically if you choose, and you do not need to share a common language to do so. At any time you may use an action to end ride-along mode by forcing a second Charisma Saving throw, in which case you take over as normal, without a second stunned turn.

If the creature willingly cedes control, and spends an action to do so, you may control the creature without causing it to lose consciousness and awareness, and without ending ride-along mode. You may return control with an action as well. This may be repeated as needed.

During ride-along mode, when you are not in control, you may not act except as detailed above, and to cast spells that only target the host creature or yourself. If a spell could affect multiple targets, or has an area of effect, it only affects yourself or the target, or both if it is capable of doing so. For example, a Detect Thoughts spell can be directed to affect the host, but will not affect or detect any other targets in its area. To cast a spell while not in control of the host, the spell may not have any Verbal or Somatic components, and any Material components must be carried by the host. If the host has willingly ceded control, they may also cast spells in this manner if they are capable. If this spell is ended by death during ride-along mode, and the possessed creature survives as detailed above, they are stunned for one round, and not two.

Metamagic Options.

If the spell is cast with Subtle metamagic, in addition to its regular benefits, when possessing a target during ride-along mode, the target is not aware of being possessed, unless you inform it telepathically. As normal, it is not aware of your actions either, including spellcasting, or attempting to possess another creature.

If the spell is cast with Heightened metamagic, only the first host's saving throws are at a Disadvantage. However, they remain at a Disadvantage even if you leave that body and attempt to return later during the same spell's duration.

If the spell is cast with Twinned Spell metamagic, instead of its usual effects, you may elect to bring along any spell effects that are currently operating on yourself, to the host bodies. For example, if you have Mage Armor cast on yourself, while you are possessing a host, the host has the effects of Mage Armor as well. Without this metamagic, any spell effects on you that began prior to the first possession only affect you while you are possessing targets, and not the host body. For example, if you are charmed prior to possessing a body, you act as though you are charmed during the possession. However, Mage Armor and Invisibility spells would have no effect until the Sorcerous Possession spell ends, though their durations continue to expire as normal.

If the spell is cast with Distant metamagic, instead of increasing the range of the spell, the distance to possess a target is increased. That is to say, any time you attempt to possess a creature, it must be within 200' instead of 100'.

If the spell is cast with Extended metamagic, you have two hours to attempt your first possession, instead of one.

If the spell is cast with Careful metamagic, instead of its usual effects, you have a +1 DC on your save to avoid dying when the host body dies.

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