How would you cost a permanent Death Ward item?




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    How would you cost a permanent Death Ward item?

    As the title says, what should be the cost for an item that provides a permanent, use-activated Death Ward effect? Going by the guideline formulae in the DMG, it comes to:

    4 (Spell lvl) x 7 (Caster lvl) x 2,000 (Use-activated) x 2 (it's a 1 min/lvl spell) = 112,000 gp

    Does that sound about right?

    The reason i'm asking is because of the Soulfire armor property, which I believe has the above effect and is from BoED and is considered +4 for pricing purposes. While I'm away on summer break, one of the other members of my group (Rackhir, here on ENWorld) has been running an 18th lvl game allowing material from many different sources, and half the PCs are walking around in Soulfire armor. I opined that a +4 pricing is too cheap and it would be better priced as a permanent Death Ward item.

    What do you think?
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    I personally feel that death ward is overpowered, so that biases my opinion on the cost of Soulfire and the cost of permanent death ward heavily in the 'against' column. +4 is cheap, costing only 64,000 at most. It's even cheaper considering that you could enhance your armor and shield separately, greatly reducing the cost (in a manner of speaking).
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    remember that 4 is alot in the higher levels... but i do think it should be a +5 though
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    Thanks for the opinions. Anyone else care to chime in?
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    I wouldn't allow it at any cost, personally. The fear of sudden death is about the only thing that keeps very high-level characters in check. Even if I did allow it, I wouldn't let it be a commodity item that every player could get.

    FWIW, I'd feel the same way about letting everyone have a permanent mind-blank, or True-Sight, or similar items that would protect against whole classes of spells.

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    I think it depends very much on the preferences of your group.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodrigo Istalindir
    The fear of sudden death is about the only thing that keeps very high-level characters in check. Even if I did allow it, I wouldn't let it be a commodity item that every player could get.
    See, I have a very different view. To me, sudden death is no fun. The idea that a character could die as a result of a single bad roll does not appeal to me. Thus, I'd be quite happy to give my players fairly cheap access to death ward items since it's going to result in a more fun game for me and my players.

    If death effects worked differently in the game, e.g. they are not instantaneous effects, but cause Constitution drain at the rate of 1d6 per round until the character dies or the effect is negated, then I might make death ward items more expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLance
    IThus, I'd be quite happy to give my players fairly cheap access to death ward items since it's going to result in a more fun game for me and my players.
    Except that the PCs will have an unfair advantage over their enemies. Unless everybody is walking around in soulfire armour. And if that's the case, you might as well do away with death attacks altogether, IMHO.
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    Right. Also, notice that he didn't say that sudden death was fun, but the fear of sudden death is fun. There's a subtle yet important distinction. It's also probably a little too narrow, so don't take it too strictly. The meaning of it should still be clear, however: if the players don't fear for their characters, they will not have fun. Basically, if you don't need combat in your games, that's fine, but if you do have it then there should be reasonable chances for injury and death. There has to be consequences to some actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogrork the Mighty
    Except that the PCs will have an unfair advantage over their enemies.
    I use action points, so the PCs already have an unfair advantage over their enemies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogrork the Mighty
    Unless everybody is walking around in soulfire armour. And if that's the case, you might as well do away with death attacks altogether, IMHO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Infiniti2000
    Also, notice that he didn't say that sudden death was fun, but the fear of sudden death is fun. There's a subtle yet important distinction. It's also probably a little too narrow, so don't take it too strictly. The meaning of it should still be clear, however: if the players don't fear for their characters, they will not have fun. Basically, if you don't need combat in your games, that's fine, but if you do have it then there should be reasonable chances for injury and death. There has to be consequences to some actions.
    Here's my subtle yet important distinction: The fear of death is fun, but it doesn't have to be the fear of sudden death. Again, it depends on the tone you want to achieve in your games. Impending death creates interesting choices during combat - spend your action to try and save your friend, or use it to attack the enemy. Sudden death can increase tension (will I die this round or not), but removes the need for such choices when it occurs - your friend is dead anyway, and spending one minute to raise or resurrect him is usually impractical. In my group, anyway, hit point loss is enough to create a fun state of tension.

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    There is a limited death ward armor ability in Player's Guide to Faern. I don't have it here, but IIRC it just triggers a death ward the first time in a day you're exposed to something that would make it relevant. I'll see about checking it up when I get home.
    /Staffan

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