D&D 5E +1 sword or Flame Tongue- or both?

aco175

Legend
The group is powerful enough to start upping the power of their weapons (hitting 10th level). I could give out a +2 weapon but are wondering of something cooler is better. I was thinking of +1 Flame Tongue, but didn't know if it needs +1 to make it worth while. I know 5e does not need to scale and such, but is a +0 Flame Tongue or something similar cool enough to trade in +1 basic with a daily power to screech a 30ft cone for 3d6 damage.

Power wise, the fighter has a large enough To-Hit and the +1 may not be needed, but taking away 1 by trading in his +1 sword may not be the best. I know another player may take the sword and giving the players a choice is up to them to handle their characters, but I was just looking for opinions. Cheers
 

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Extra damage/attack is huge for melee types with Extra Attack, and especially for Fighters with Action Surge, so, yeah, passing on a 'meager' +1 to hit & damage for a +2d6 fire damage per hit is highly desirable.

Just hope the player of the fighter realizes that...
 

Satyrn

First Post
I think you should make it a +3 vorpal flametongue.

Wait, no! That's a terrible idea. Make it a +1 vorpal nine lives stealer flametongue. That's what I'd do.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I handed out a +0 flametongue to my group, and regret it. It's just a huge amount of damage, and it scales with each attack. The guy that has it waaaaay outpaces the damage of other fighter-types in the party. Which is not inherently bad but it wasn't in my mind when I handed it out. I did not intend to hand out a +0/+7 weapon, and that +7 is the average additional damage the 2d6 does on a hit.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I'd say give them the flame tongue, it's more interesting than a straight bonus to hit. I'd probably make it a +1 weapon, although I guess even at +0 it should still count as magical.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I'd say give them the flame tongue, it's more interesting than a straight bonus to hit. I'd probably make it a +1 weapon, although I guess even at +0 it should still count as magical.

So you'd give them a +1/+8 weapon, as long as it was interesting, relative to a +2/+2 weapon?
 

cbwjm

Legend
So you'd give them a +1/+8 weapon, as long as it was interesting, relative to a +2/+2 weapon?

There'd probably be both. I wouldn't be handing out a flame tongue to each party member since I'd see them as rarer than a standard +2 weapon but yeah, a flaming weapon is more fun than a +2 weapon and I would definitely be looking to hand out a flame tongue in the later levels. That or a frost brand (is it weird that flame tongue requires a bonus action to activate and frost brand doesn't?).
 

Don't undervalue those pluses; a Flametongue is plenty powerful enough on its own. One custom item I made is a Longbow of Radiance. It deals 2d6 radiance instead of the 1d8 piercing, plus some benefits for vision. The only part of it I regret is making it +2, because the bonus to hit put him into the range of using Sharpshooter feat every single attack without hesitation.
 

Oofta

Legend
I think it's very situational. But an average extra 7 points of damage per hit is pretty huge, and outweighs the minor decrease in chance to hit especially for people with multiple attacks. If you are doing a campaign high powered PCs it can be OK. It actually bring the melee fighter on par with the sharpshooter that's always hiding and getting advantage or the reckless great weapon master barbarian.

It also depends on whether your group cares about damage parity. Some do, some don't. Some will just be happy if the monsters die faster, others will feel overshadowed.
 

kbrakke

First Post
I have never been dissapointed in the amount of damage my players do, I would be fully in favor of the flametongue. When I received one I was ecstatic, my player got one and he uses it constantly.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I have never been dissapointed in the amount of damage my players do, I would be fully in favor of the flametongue. When I received one I was ecstatic, my player got one and he uses it constantly.

Because it's a cool sword, right? I'd be happy to get a +2 weapon but if, as a player, I could choose between a +2 longsword or a +0 flame tongue, I'd go with the flame tongue. I wouldn't be as accurate but I have a sword that can burst into flame which is just cool.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Of COURSE you guys would choose -2/+7 over +2/+2. It's WAY more powerful!

I mean think about it. People argue -5/+10 is broken overpowered, for a feat. I think it's OK, but part of the reason it's OK is because it's a feat, and -5 is a lot. But -2/+7 is better than -5/+10! If it followed the pattern it would have been -2/+4, but it's nearly double that, and you don't need to expend a feat to get it!

Tell me, would it be just as "cool" if it were just a flame weapon +2/+2 without the 2d6 damage? Would you choose a +1/+1 weapon that has flame on it (but does no extra damage) over a +2/+2 sword with no flame?
 

kbrakke

First Post
Because it's a cool sword, right? I'd be happy to get a +2 weapon but if, as a player, I could choose between a +2 longsword or a +0 flame tongue, I'd go with the flame tongue. I wouldn't be as accurate but I have a sword that can burst into flame which is just cool.

I personally am a huge fan of reducing variance, so if I had to pick I would always pick a +2 sword. I was ecstatic because the flametongue is cool as hell, I wanted to use my sword that burst in to flames all the time.

Of COURSE you guys would choose -2/+7 over +2/+2. It's WAY more powerful!


I mean think about it. People argue -5/+10 is broken overpowered, for a feat. I think it's OK, but part of the reason it's OK is because it's a feat, and -5 is a lot. But -2/+7 is better than -5/+10! If it followed the pattern it would have been -2/+4, but it's nearly double that, and you don't need to expend a feat to get it!


Tell me, would it be just as "cool" if it were just a flame weapon +2/+2 without the 2d6 damage? Would you choose a +1/+1 weapon that has flame on it (but does no extra damage) over a +2/+2 sword with no flame?

I would always choose a +2/+2 over a +1/+1 that claimed it was on fire. I think a huge part pf the coolness comes from using the die to represent the fire damage. It could just be the prescient of the elemental spells and all the magic items, but if you tell me something has an elemental quality but I don't get to roll extra dice it doesn't feel right. Now if you made it between a +2 sword and a +1/+1d4 sword, that would be more interesting. When I think elemental I think extra damage dice, I think the 2d6 is fine, both because I don't care about the damage my players do and because fire is something commonly resisted or ignored. When you use a flametongue the power in the fiction matches the numbers you roll matches the feeling of rolling 3+ dice for each attack.
 
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cbwjm

Legend
Of COURSE you guys would choose -2/+7 over +2/+2. It's WAY more powerful!

I mean think about it. People argue -5/+10 is broken overpowered, for a feat. I think it's OK, but part of the reason it's OK is because it's a feat, and -5 is a lot. But -2/+7 is better than -5/+10! If it followed the pattern it would have been -2/+4, but it's nearly double that, and you don't need to expend a feat to get it!

Tell me, would it be just as "cool" if it were just a flame weapon +2/+2 without the 2d6 damage? Would you choose a +1/+1 weapon that has flame on it (but does no extra damage) over a +2/+2 sword with no flame?

What else does it do? If it is just phantom flame that can be used a torch for instance then yeah, I'd pick that over the +2 weapon so that now my human warrior doesn't have to worry about carrying around a sword.

I'm not overly concerned about players dealing more damage with a flame tongue, my games can handle it and it's a cool weapon that my players would enjoy getting. Basically, I find any magical weapon that does something else other than just a flat bonus more interesting and more fun to get.
 

S'mon

Legend
Good discussion - I have high level PCs questing for three legendary flaming swords, I don't want them more legendary than the +3 artifact Sword of Bondorr a PC (Hakeem the 17th level Barbarian, Exalted Champion of Bondorr) already has.

Looks like I need to either keep the flaming swords to +1 at most, or what I think I'll do is make the flamers +2 and give the Sword of Bondorr +2d6 lightning damage. This is a no-feats game, and chewing through piles of monster hp has become increasingly an issue at higher level.
 
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You could always make the flametongue weapon do only 1d6 extra fire damage or 2d6 once per turn. If your player is good at gaining attacks as reactions he can use the extra damage more often. Nobody stops you from changing the magic items in the DMG you are the DM.
Or you could say your flametongue is somewhat damaged it only deals xdy for that reason but you can upgrade it by finding a specific item(s) or doing something with the flametongue like putting its blade into lava.
 

Kalshane

First Post
Yeah, I wouldn't add any plusses onto a flametongue. You could give it a cool additional power, or two, though.

In one of my campaigns I gave the cleric of Seranrae a flametongue scimitar that he could burn a use of Channel Divinity to turn the fire damage into radiant for 1 minute and it functioned as a Daylight spell for the duration.

Maybe this flametongue allows the wielder to cast Fire Shield once per short rest, but while the shield is in effect you can't ignite the sword. (Basically its magic is placing the flames around you instead of itself.)
 

LapBandit

First Post
You don't have to hand out exactly what is in the DMG. I just make up items that fit. For example, one of the campaigns I DM found a +0 to hit, +1d8 thunder warhammer that you can throw once a day and cast Thunderwave at 3rd level.

If you want a flaming +0 sword but you don't want to upset the damage apply cart along the way just make it +1d4 fire instead of 2d6.
 

RulesJD

First Post
The group is powerful enough to start upping the power of their weapons (hitting 10th level). I could give out a +2 weapon but are wondering of something cooler is better. I was thinking of +1 Flame Tongue, but didn't know if it needs +1 to make it worth while. *snip*

Stop.

No, Flametongue doesn't need a +1. Think about it this way. Would you give your PC a Greatsword that automatically Crit on every single hit, and on an actual Crit, did a Fireball spell's worth of damage to a single target?

Because mathematically, unless you're fighting Fire immune/resist monsters, that's literally what a Flametongue is. On a Greatsword, it is an automatic critical on each hit. On any other weapon it is more than a critical on each hit. That's insane.
 

The group is powerful enough to start upping the power of their weapons (hitting 10th level). I could give out a +2 weapon but are wondering of something cooler is better. I was thinking of +1 Flame Tongue, but didn't know if it needs +1 to make it worth while. I know 5e does not need to scale and such, but is a +0 Flame Tongue or something similar cool enough to trade in +1 basic with a daily power to screech a 30ft cone for 3d6 damage.

Power wise, the fighter has a large enough To-Hit and the +1 may not be needed, but taking away 1 by trading in his +1 sword may not be the best. I know another player may take the sword and giving the players a choice is up to them to handle their characters, but I was just looking for opinions. Cheers

History, quirks, and minor powers are the best. You know you're succeeding when your players refer to their magical items by name instead of by power, and when the roleplaying personality-affecting side-effects (like creating greed or lust) come up more often in play than the powers do.

Player: "Of course I'm stealing the widow's gold. Flauntiir has been whispering in my mind for the past year about 'gold, glorious gold'!"

(That's not a direct quote but it's the gist of what happened with Flauntiir the Staff of Flame on a regular basis--far more often than it was used to actually throw Fireballs or Walls of Fire.)

Instead of a bog-standard flametongue, give him something like:

Unushgila'a the Dayshard. One day, thousands of years ago, Luru'inili the Last of the Enkidu was looking up at the sun in the middle of the day and he saw a piece of the sun sticking out, like a twig poking out of a bush. Luru'inili got out his mighty longbow and shot it into the sky so that it hit the piece of the sun that was sticking out, and it broke off and fell down to earth. When Luru'inili got to where it had fallen he found that it had burned a mighty forest to ashes where it landed and now there was a desert, and in the desert was a puddle of liquid metal, and in the puddle there was the piece of the sun. Luru'inili liked how shiny it was so he took the metal and bound the sun within it and forged it into a blade which he called Unushgila'a the Dayshard.

This 2' long knife is forged from mirror-bright brass. It is sized for a 9' tall Enkidu but can be used by a Medium-sized creature with big hands as a kind of long-handled shortsword (1d6 martial weapon, slashing damage). It is magical, and is at all times enveloped in shimmering flames which cause 2d6 fire damage to anything which contacts the blade. Fortunately, Luru'inili also forged a sheathe for the blade out of elemental chalk which resists heat and always stays the same temperature; as long as Unushgila'a is in the sheathe it will not harm anyone. When plunged into a pool of liquid, it will dry up at least 1 gallon of liquid per round, turning it to a 10' x 10' square of steam with the same properties as the original liquid--so an acid puddle will dry up into a cloud of acid steam, and a poison puddle will dry up into a poison cloud. A cloud of steam will usually dissipate in about a minute.

Some of the spirit of the Last Enkidu resides within the Dayshard he forged. Whoever wields and is attuned to the Dayshard will be able to read and write Enkidu engravings; will be able to smell magic as if it were sulfur (harmful magic) or cinnamon (beneficial or healing magic); and will always know which direction to go to find drinking water, as long as there is any such body of water within a day's travel. He will also suffer disadvantage on saving throws against plague or other disease, which caused the fall of the Enkidus; and he will never have offspring so long as he is attuned to the blade.

It is only possible to attune this weapon once. Once attunement has been broken, the blade will reject re-attunement from the same wielder.
 
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