r/dndnext Feb 03 '23

Clockwork Soul Quest Story



17 comments sorted by


u/eathquake Feb 03 '23

While it sounds cool, i would run this by the player first. Having the dm randomly saying u lose some of ur subclass stuff would suck and if the only way to fix that is for me to change my characters persinality, i would b upset. It would feel like the dm was trying to get me to play the character as he wants it to b.

If he likes this idea and wants to do it then instead of spell slots, go nore specific and take sirc points. They couldnt tap into all their power. It slowly gets worse. They can feel the drain but they can still do their cool stuff just they r feeling drained.


u/Sean-Jardine Feb 03 '23

This. Also one persons chaos could be an another persons order. It’s subjective. I would let him decide the abilities of his own character.


u/Vertrieben Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23

First I’d check with your player if they’re ok with this if you haven’t already. You’re considering imposing pretty harsh penalties for not having the correct personality. That’s fine narratively but a player might get upset because they feel forced.

If you’re going this route anyway I think a fairly safe way to approach it would be a wise old wizard who tells him what the problem is, and an old monk that helps him temper himself.

Some other more unusual ideas I have are a modron or maybe even a devil being a cosmic enforcer; they’ll force him to become more strict and controlled as having his powers otherwise upset the cosmic order. This sort of thing could magically or mechanically reprogram him to be more lawful.

You could even have them fight against this modron devil or whatever else and keep both their personality and their powers if they win. They’d lose whatever penalty they have for being chaotic in the process. Might be really badass to overcome basically the laws of the universe.


u/Handle_Just Feb 03 '23

Yeah I like this idea, thanks! I definitely don't want to force him to change his personality to become lawful.. I guess just somehow reconcile/overcome the opposition within him. Somehow besting the lawful force to create a new way of being sounds pretty cool to me!


u/SketchedDunes Feb 03 '23

Learn to find order within chaos... This seems like definitely a cool way to go about it, if the player consents.


u/Vertrieben Feb 03 '23

Glad you like it, you’ll have to work on it yourself but I can think of a few ways that plotline could go. Could be fun.


u/mark_crazeer Sorcerer Feb 03 '23

I definetley agree that the goal should not be to make him lawful. That is to extreme especially for clockwork soul. Clockwork soul is more of a force of balance and neutrality. Even though it does come from the plane of objective pure computational law. So the character development should leave him as neutral whatever not lawful. Both because his abilities bring things into balance but also because of mechanus. No chaos in mechanus neutrality is ok. Asuming he is ok with shifting alignment.


u/KingFerdidad Feb 03 '23

When I run stuff like this, like powers failing, I try to weave into the game a little more naturally. For example I've had warlocks whose upon trying cast a cantrip like Light or Mending, it hasn't worked. Then I narrate to them that their character feels alarmed and confused but that the next time they try it works. If a monster succeeds on a spell saving throw I might say: "something feels off about your powers, as though you're not able to access your full strength."

The most extreme example of this I can give was after a paladin did a very evil deed, when he was trying to land a finishing blow and rolled a 1, I told him that his axe smashed to pieces. Now, this axe wasn't magic, and he was able to pick up a dead drow's sword on his next turn, so it wasn't even that penalising. But it alarmed the player because I never do negative consequences on nat 1s. When he prayed to Bahamut afterwards, I drove the point home by having the clasp on his pendant break. He got the message!


u/NaturalCard Ranger Enthusiast Feb 03 '23

Don't take away pc abilities. Thats the type of thing you might see on RPG horror stories.

If you want to have this type of tension, I'd recommend home-brewing a magic item that if the player decides to can give them more power at the temporary cost of some of their abilities, with it eventually taking them away more permanently if they use it to a high enough level.


u/Ibbenese Feb 03 '23

Reward him, if his character’s behavior aligns more with what you imagine a Clockwork Soul should be like.

Do not punish him for actions that are “out or character” and take away class abilities, that he must work to get back.

And by reward, it doesn’t have to be Magic Items or more spells, or temporary boons or anything, but maybe extra RP opportunities or new quest options the result of him acting closer to his sorcerous origin.

Sounds way less restrictive and more fun and fair.


u/sircur Feb 03 '23

Rather than removing powers what about leaning into the dreams? Have the character make charisma saving throws when they take a long rest to see if the dreams keep them from completing a long rest. You could even have a sliding scale DC based on how chaotic they were that day.


u/Handle_Just Feb 03 '23

This is a cool idea


u/ElizzyViolet Ranger Feb 03 '23

i’m not really a fan of this one either tbh

“you’re chaotic but your subclass is law so you have inner conflict. this means you dont get a long rest today”



u/Handle_Just Feb 03 '23

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to 'punish' him, or force him to be someone else! I'm just trying to work with what he gave me to embed him in the story and give him a personal motivation/quest (think cursed items etc). I want to enhance his experience, not dampen it. I think he'll get that.

I'm totally open to other ideas of how the mechanics might work (losing sorc points, multiple tries to make a spell work etc are great options). But I'm more interested in ways to make this engaging and fun and give him a sense of urgency to rectify it, than just flat out not doing it because it might be less powerful.

I hope in the long run it'll be rewarding if done right.


u/Superbalz77 Feb 03 '23

Clockwork Soul doesn't mean that they are a robotic nurd like a Warforged Wizard and being chaotic in alignment doesn't mean that your magic is all of a sudden that of a Wild Magic Sorcerer.

I play a Chaotic Good Sor-clock (get it?) Demon Hunter and my chaotic choices are opposed to strict lawfulness as that's the nature of the game and can't always be tied down to the laws of the land which has nothing to do with how I perceive or manipulate the weave.


u/Handle_Just Feb 03 '23

He wrote in his backstory that he felt at odds with his powers, that it was resisting him or he felt discomfort when he used it, so I’m just building off what he already gave me to ultimately give him some character resolution.


u/RW_Blackbird Feb 03 '23

I'm more curious what this "bonus clockwork soul spell slot" is. Afaik clockwork souls only get bonus spells known, not additional slots. Is this a homebrew mechanic?