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[kjd-imc] Signature Item Enchantment (was: [kjd-imc] On dw..

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Anonymous
June 10, 2005 9:25:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

David Alex Lamb <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote:
> In article <slrndahf46.rqm.keith.davies@kjdavies.org>,
> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>David Alex Lamb <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote:
>>> In article <slrndad548.45n.keith.davies@kjdavies.org>,
>>> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>>>I'm not sure how this would behave with regard to 'upgrading'. I think
>>>>most dwarves would stick with their current arms, usually (which is
>>>>another reason presentation arms might be the dwarf's current arms).
>>>
>>> If you could justify a single upgrading, a 3rd level or higher dwarf
>>> might be willing to accept (buy with a feat) an Ancestral Relic. Its
>>> magical properties can be upgraded without giving up the
>>> weapon/armour/whatever. The feat also seems to fit well with your
>>> idea of presenting arms.
>>
>>Indeed. Where's Ancestral Relic from?
>
> Book of Exalted Deeds.

Ah, okay, looked it up. Basically:

you can spend valuables (including magic items) straight across for
gold piece value (i.e. you don't take the 50% hit for selling to get the
gold -- you can transform *that* +2 battleaxe into *this* +2 greatsword)
and have a limit on the market price of the item equal to one-half your
normal 'recommended equipment total value', and can have only one
ancestral relic.

What I was thinking would allow you to take the feat more than once,
enchanting a different item each time. I'm not certain how I want to
limit how much you enchant each item.

The limitations I'm thinking of applying:

.. maximum +1 enhancement bonus per three levels

.. may spend only one level's worth of XP at a time, and must enchant in
discrete steps.

.. biggest item quality: +1 equivalent per three levels (I'm considering
doing this for normally-enchanted weapons and armor as well; the
caster level requirements for weapon qualities actually appear to be a
little higher in the RSRD, but 3 * equivalent is pretty close for most
of them -- within 3, anyway). These could be higher if a prerequisite
spell requires a higher caster level (even though this character
doesn't need the spell), but if a character could reasonably create
an item [GM determination] this might be waived (unholy weapon quality
(+2) requires /unholy blight/, a Clr4 spell, which means a 7th-level
minimum... but a character with the Evil domain power might be able to
do it at sixth level (+2 * 3))

.. you can only enchant this way an item you would reasonably 'want' or
use anyway. That is, a wizard could make a staff this way, a fighter
couldn't (well... as a weapon he could, but not a spell staff). A
sneaky shadowy thief type could create a cloak of shadows or the like.
[this probably needs some fleshing out, really]

Assuming 20% XP cost (simplest math, and it looks like it works pretty
well in my notes) and the guidelines above, it would be *possible* for
an eighth-level character to make a +10 equivalent sword. It could have
at most a +2 enhancement bonus and +8 worth of weapon qualities (none
bigger than +2 equivalent), but he could. Of course, his friends would
all be 12th level -- despite his weapon, he'd be fairly vulnerable. He
might be able to hit fairly hard (lots of elemental weapon qualities,
therefore lots of bonus dice of damage, maybe) but not nearly as often
as his friends (four levels higher == +4 more BAB, +1 attack/round,
probably +4 or maybe +5 enhanced weapons, one more stat bump... call it
+6.5 more to-hit than him (~50% chance that the stat bump increases stat
bonus... and this all assumes comparable fighter types).

Armor is half the price of a comparable weapon (and can therefore
generally afford something one or two points better), but it's a matter
of a soft chewy center in a hard shell (and not necessarily all that
much harder, really, since it's only +2 enhancement and +2 equivalent
weapon qualities, at eighth level).

All in all, I think that pushing the enchantment as hard and fast as
possible is not terribly effective -- the character would die relatively
young (leaving a pretty nice weapon, mind). I suspect it would be
*fairly* self-limiting. Spend the XP, fall behind, and be vulnerable?
Or hold off a bit until you can afford better enhancement bonuses and
weapon qualities, and can reasonably afford them?


Now, for spell-based items it's a little different. We can ignore
scrolls and potions; they get consumed as soon as they're used. Wands
aren't terribly interesting because they contain only a single spell;
outside of increasing the caster level there's not a lot to do to
improve them.

Wondrous items and staves are more interesting, though. I'd probably
allow a character with a signature staff to recharge it, even if others
can't. This character paid a lot for it (considering XP and a feat), he
should be able to count on it sticking around.

For wondrous items the character must be able to meet the minimum level
(even if he can't cast the necessary spells). A sneaky-type rogue might
use this feat to create a cloak of shadows for himself (let's say it
requires /shadowwalk/, a Wiz6 spell, therefore a Wiz11 could create it).
He'd have to be at least 11th level to do so. He needn't know the
spell -- in fact, he needn't be able to cast spells at all. He'd
probably have to have done something 'shadow-based' to warrant this
ability, though.

For a staff, I was thinking it might be the one case I'd require the
character to actually know the spells, but I'm not sure. I kind of like
the idea of the character being able to use certain magics only as long
as he has this signature item. A staff is a spell trigger item, though;
it would be necessary that he have the spells involved on his 'class
list' (IMC, this means having the relevent Spell Path feats or a
Tradition feat that includes those paths). OTOH, staves tend to be
pretty damned nice items, and he could build it up from there.

So, for staves I think I'll say "must have at least theoretical or
potential knowledge of the spells put into the staff" (spell path or
tradition feat -- or feats if they span paths or traditions), but does
not need to be able to cast (or even know) them himself.

>>I was going to do something of a cross between Item Familiar and the
>>samurai ability to improve his arms. You take the feat, you can spend
>>XP directly to 'enchant' an item.
>
> IIRC Ancestral Relic upgrades cost GP equal to the difference between
> the cost of the old power(s) and the cost of the new, plus
> prayer/meditation time comparable to the time to add the new
> enchantment to a normal weapon.

Oh yeah -- time is still part of it (1 day/1000gp market price).
Depending on the desired enchantment, other things might be required
("want to add 'demonbane'? Must kill a bigass demon with it" sort of
thing).


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 11:46:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In article <slrndai936.rqm.keith.davies@kjdavies.org>,
Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>For wondrous items the character must be able to meet the minimum level
>(even if he can't cast the necessary spells). A sneaky-type rogue might
>use this feat to create a cloak of shadows for himself (let's say it
>requires /shadowwalk/, a Wiz6 spell, therefore a Wiz11 could create it).
>He'd have to be at least 11th level to do so. He needn't know the
>spell -- in fact, he needn't be able to cast spells at all. He'd
>probably have to have done something 'shadow-based' to warrant this
>ability, though.

You said a lot worth thinking about, but this is the only spot for which I had
a response at the moment.

What kind of "shadow based" did you have in mind? Qualify for ShadowDancer
class, perhaps? Kill an actual undead shadow? Now that "Hide" is no longer
"in Shadows" I guess a high level wouldn't be good enough.
--
"Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 2:36:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

David Alex Lamb <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote:
> In article <slrndai936.rqm.keith.davies@kjdavies.org>,
> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>>For wondrous items the character must be able to meet the minimum level
>>(even if he can't cast the necessary spells). A sneaky-type rogue might
>>use this feat to create a cloak of shadows for himself (let's say it
>>requires /shadowwalk/, a Wiz6 spell, therefore a Wiz11 could create it).
>>He'd have to be at least 11th level to do so. He needn't know the
>>spell -- in fact, he needn't be able to cast spells at all. He'd
>>probably have to have done something 'shadow-based' to warrant this
>>ability, though.
>
> You said a lot worth thinking about, but this is the only spot for
> which I had a response at the moment.
>
> What kind of "shadow based" did you have in mind? Qualify for
> ShadowDancer class, perhaps? Kill an actual undead shadow? Now that
> "Hide" is no longer "in Shadows" I guess a high level wouldn't be good
> enough.

Something like those options. Thing 'mythic' (though not necessarily
'epic'). I'd consider such a power for someone who does one or more of
the following:

1. travels in the Plane of Shadow frequently
2. uses shadow magics
3. interacts with (which can include fights and kills) shadow creatures
4. *possibly* interacts with undead
5. lives/works in darkness/night a lot


Basically anyone where it seems a reasonable extension of the character.
A typical fighter -- many rogues, even -- probably wouldn't qualify, but
others might. "If it sounds like a 'cool' addition rather than a
'useful' one" might be a guideline. I probably wouldn't allow it to
someone who isn't associated with shadow in some fashion, but just what
that association is can vary.

I don't have anything really solid to go on, unfortunately. I can
probably come up with some examples, but no strong "you must do *this*"
type guidelines.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
!