Luck Blade: A Cursory Analysis
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  1. #1

    Luck Blade: A Cursory Analysis

    Luck Blade:
    Quote Originally Posted by srd
    This +2 short sword gives its possessor a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws. Its possessor also gains the power of good fortune, usable once per day. This extraordinary ability allows its possessor to reroll one roll that she just made. She must take the result of the reroll, even if its worse than the original roll. In addition, a luck blade may contain up to three wishes (when randomly rolled, a luck blade holds 1d4-1 wishes, minimum 0). When the last wish is used, the sword remains a +2 short sword, still grants the +1 luck bonus, and still grants its reroll power.

    Strong evocation; CL 17th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, wish or miracle; Price 22,060 gp (0 wishes)
    Assuming one does not actually want to get a luck blade with wishes and just wants to reroll bad saving throws . . .

    The closest comparison is with luckstones, which give a +1 to all saves and skills for 20k, and Phant's Luckstone, which is used once to reroll and then disintegrates (1k). For the price of one luckstone and two Phant's Luckstones one essentially gets a +2 weapon thrown in as a bonus. Of course, there is the side issue of how much a +1 to all skills is worth.

    It would seem that it ultimately comes down to how many saving throws one makes in a day. If for some reason one makes many saving throws in one day and then does not make any more for a long time, Phant's Luckstones alone provide the versatility one needs. However, it seems more likely at higher levels that one will often need to make a few saving throws each day, meaning that it won't be long before the luck blade pays for itself in terms of saved luckstones.

    It may be a valid criticism of this method that throwing money into staying alive is a waste beyond some point. However, consider that a True Ressurrection costs 25k. This is the price of one luck blade and three Phant's Luckstones. The question then becomes, "On average, is the ability to reroll four bad saves going to save your life at least once?"

  2. #2
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    Presumably you actually have to be *wielding* the luckblade in order to use the reroll, no? So there is an additional restriction there which would seem to knock the price down appropriately.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by IanB
    Presumably you actually have to be *wielding* the luckblade in order to use the reroll, no? So there is an additional restriction there which would seem to knock the price down appropriately.
    I thought so, too, until hong pointed out that you only need to be the possessor of the luckblade.

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    Yeah, it does indeed say 'possessor.'

    Interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of every high level character carrying around a luckblade to get a free reroll. That may need a house rule for versimilitude purposes.

    After all, if it is only a couple thousand more than a luckstone, and doesn't take up an item slot... Somehow the idea of everyone carrying around a lucky rock doesn't bother me nearly as much.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by moritheil

    It may be a valid criticism of this method that throwing money into staying alive is a waste beyond some point. However, consider that a True Ressurrection costs 25k. This is the price of one luck blade and three Phant's Luckstones. The question then becomes, "On average, is the ability to reroll four bad saves going to save your life at least once?"
    Though you can use the Luckblade for things other than saving throws. If you're a fighter type unloading your 4-for-1 Power Attack, True Strike, Smiting, uber-charge of doom at the big bad, that would be a very inconvenient time to roll a 1.

    Or alternately, "I only need a 3 to get past that SR!"

    In D&D the best defense is a good offense, so there's no point in saving the reroll for saving throws if a reroll could end combat this round.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by IanB
    Yeah, it does indeed say 'possessor.'

    Interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of every high level character carrying around a luckblade to get a free reroll. That may need a house rule for versimilitude purposes.

    After all, if it is only a couple thousand more than a luckstone, and doesn't take up an item slot... Somehow the idea of everyone carrying around a lucky rock doesn't bother me nearly as much.
    I gather that you feel that it's more than worth it, then.

    Why just one? In 2e, I recall munchkins running around with a dozen of them. I had thought that there was a change in 3.x to prevent that, but as we discussed above, no such change exists . . . Of course, the luck bonus doesn't stack, but stocking up is probably worth it for the rerolls alone if those can save you from death.

  7. #7
    A luckstone also doesn't take up an item slot. I don't think it's worth paying more for less when you could get the luckstone and have +1 to all skills and ability checks (including initiative) as well.

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    Yeah, that is pretty crazy. I don't have to worry immediately about it unless my players suddenly start deciding to sink their cash into luck blade madness, I suppose.

    The luck blade may just make the transition into "minor artifact" status anyway. Not so much because of power issues but because the idea of people hauling around a bag full of swords they'll never even draw bugs the crap out of me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMurray
    A luckstone also doesn't take up an item slot. I don't think it's worth paying more for less when you could get the luckstone and have +1 to all skills and ability checks (including initiative) as well.
    Right; neither take up item slots.

    Your point about the +1 to skills and checks is well taken. I mentioned it above, but couldn't figure out what a fair price on that might be. Would you say that it's worth more than a reroll?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwood2
    Though you can use the Luckblade for things other than saving throws. If you're a fighter type unloading your 4-for-1 Power Attack, True Strike, Smiting, uber-charge of doom at the big bad, that would be a very inconvenient time to roll a 1.

    Or alternately, "I only need a 3 to get past that SR!"

    In D&D the best defense is a good offense, so there's no point in saving the reroll for saving throws if a reroll could end combat this round.
    You bring up a very good point, but one that makes the numbers much more complicated. This is only a cursory analysis; if you feel up to running a more exhaustive analysis, I'd love to see your findings.

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