There was some debate at our table tonight about the Hypnotic Suggestion spell. It says that it affects creatures of less than 12 HD. Our characters are all 14th level, but the GM ruled that we have 10 HD (and just extra hit points beyond 10th level). I see what he's getting at, but it just doesn't seem right. I'm used to spells saying "affects creatures up to x HD or levels". But not in Conan. So does Hypnotic Suggestion affect a 14th level character or not?
-On the one hand your GM is technically correct.
-On the other hand, in almost every d20 game system each level adds a HD, I would be willing to lay good odds that when the designer's were writting that spell they were thinking along the lines of level=HD
-On the other other hand, your GM's rulling is in keeping with the spirit of the rule for not gaining more HD after level 10. That is to say, the spirit of scaling back the power of high level characters.
I'm not sure if I'd do the same thing in my game but I really can't find any grounds to oppose your GM on. If he wants high-level PC's to be vulneuable to such things then so be it.
(Oh, and as a side note, can Hypnotic Suggestion be used for a command like "fetch the treasure from the other boat, bring it here, and guard it"? Or would it be limited to "Bring the treasure here" (thus requiring another Suggestion to do the guarding bit...)
Thanks in advance,
Hypnotic Suggestion is one of those difficult spells that really has to be adjudicated on the fly. It really is all in the way the suggestion is worded. "I think it would be a good idea for you to safeguard that treasure, it really would be much better off with you watching it here than left on that leaky old boat don't you think?" Would probably work. "I think we would all be better off if you went and got that treasure. Oh, and once you bring it back you should stay and watch it too." would probably be two Suggestions. If your GM wants to make his players fret over their use of language is something he should consider carefully: some groups may find that sort of word-play fun, others will just be bored and frustrated. As always, know your audience.
Hope that helps.