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D&D 5E Help me come up with a property for a magic flail

ehren37

Explorer
Hi all, I'm trying to come up with an additional magical perk for a flail that I awarded the party's paladin. A little background: I'm running a converted Age of Worms adventure path, set in Golarion (pathfinder world). The party is currently 5th level, and just completed "The Whispering Cairn". Technically it's the first adventure in the published path, but since we ran some introductory adventures to set the stage, I had scaled everything up.

The flail in question is a Wind Duke https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_Dukes_of_Aaqa relic they found in a previous adventure which lead them to investigate the Whispering Cairn in the first place. It was originally just a mithril triple headed flail that looked like an air censor. Each head could be opened, and could holy water, acid etc, which would trigger on a hit. After completing the adventure, and finding the Wind Duke Zosiel's tomb, I had its enchantment unlocked, so now it is a fully magical +1 flail that can glow per the light cantrip.

I did want to add another small benefit to it, as it is the paladin's main weapon and will likely remain throughout the campaign. If it matters, he's an order of the ancients paladin serving the fey lords, with an emphasis on trickery and the thrill of life. I'm trying to avoid giving any additional direct damage/survivabity potential, as the character is probably overpowered as is. So something in the exploration/interaction arena would be best. The party has an item that can cast Gust of Wind once per day already, so that's out. After the 6th adventure, Gathering of Winds, the item will be upgraded again and let him cast Fly once per day.

I was thinking allowing it to let him cast the Jump spell twice per day. He plays the character big, bold and fearless, and is always the first into trouble. It also kind of fits with the air theme already. Any other ideas? For reference, the rest of the permanent PC party is a rogue (thief) and an infernal warlock, so don't want to necessarily step on their toes with whatever it gets.

Second, I have all players add a bond, trait or flaw for each attuned item, so was hoping to crowdsource an idea for that as well. The flail's original owner was a Wind Duke who was destroyed by a Sphere of Annihilation during the War Chaos, so thought a decent bond might revolve around the preservation of the wielder's legacy, immortalizing his deeds, etc.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
 

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Grakarg

Explorer
Look at the Quirk/minor property list in the DMG and see if that sparks some ideas.

I like the 'Guardian' property on an item for a Paladin. It gives a +2 to initiative, which would be good on a paladin since they typically don't have a great dex score. Its something that will seem great to the player, and won't really affect balance too much. (And moving fast in the initiative seems like a speedy wind duke-ish thing to do.)
 

jgsugden

Legend
You already hit the idea I thought of first: Jump. Levitate as an action (uses the action each turn to maintain) is a second option. Summon an air mephit is another. Thunder Wave on a crit (once per day max) is another. Use a bonus action to give it reach until the start of your next turn is another.

In terms of a bond/trait/flaw: Fidgity - he should move during every round of combat if he can do so without provoking an OA and should constantly be walking around and fiddling with things...
 

CM

Adventurer
  • Winds around the flail spontaneously rise and flames gutter when the forces of chaos draw near.
  • Can create an effect equivalent to Animal Messenger or Sending (although the message is carried on the wind, instead)
  • Something that amplifies the wielder's voice (similar to 4e ritual Battlefield Elocution)
  • Feather Fall?
  • Prevailing winds favor the wielder in cases where their party is tracking someone/something by scent, or trying to avoid being tracked by scent.
 
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Big J Money

Adventurer
Here's an oddball one:

Once per week, the Wind Duke creates a gentle but persistent cage of air around the wielder. This sphere repels all liquids and gasses for several hours, allowing him to breath freely when walking through gasses and liquids. It's not strong enough to affect projectiles.

And in my personal style I would of course never tell the player outright about this ability's properties, only some clues like "you feel all breezes around you suddenly stop and the air becomes purer". Let them play with it.
 



For a minor trait, I would recommend that it make the wielder sympathetic towards creatures of Elemental Air and antagonistic against creatures of Elemental Earth. I like quirks that work both ways, because I'm a fairly evil DM :)

For abilities, I would suggest that it have charges, and can a spell by spending the appropriate charges. I would suggest it only be able to use 1 spell at a time, limiting overlap. Max 4 charges, recovering 1d4 per day seems good.

Suggested Air Themed Spells
Light: 0 Charges
Gust (EE): 0 Charges
Feather Fall: 1 Charge
Fog Cloud: 1 Charge
Unseen Servant: 1 Charge
Dust Devil (EE): 2 Charges
Levitate: 2 Charges
Skywrite (EE): 2 Charges
Fly: 3 Charges
Gasseous Form: 3 Charges
Conjure Minor Elemental (Air only): 4 Charges
Storm Sphere (EE): 4 Charges
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Two ideas:

1. replicating a spell: wielder can cast Unseen Servant 1/day. (a cool ritual that's underused, and could be flavoured to be air-elemental themed).

2. a non-standard ability that could reward player creativity: all winds avoid the wielder, creating a 10' zone of calm. (we can see how that would be of advantage on an elemental air plane, but it could be put to use on enemy ships, etc.)
 

The flail's chains attempt to entangle and wrap around whatever they strike.
You have advantage on all rolls to disarm your opponent (the chains grab their weapon).
You have advantage on all rolls to knock your target prone (the chains wrap around their legs and trip them).

The acid head of the flail can produce one vial of strong acid per day.

The chains are spiked with tiny spines which can be removed and spread on the ground. The flail produces one bag of caltrops every day.
 

Painfully

First Post
A wind duke would be easily heard over the din of combat or in the middle of a storm. I would allow the user to enhance the volume of his voice (like thaumaturgy) to be heard to all within 400' very clearly regardless of other noises. It's a minor enough thing mechanically, while still showing that he is definitely in command of the air around him.

I like the idea of a thunderwave-like pushing effect, likely from the wielder's shout. If you want to make it different than the spell, use a saving throw to force enemies prone (or maybe temporarily deafen or stun) instead of inflicting damage.

If you need just pure flavor, perhaps the wind is always favorable towards him within 100'. Don't make any mechanical adjustments for it, just have him notice it. Sailing on a boat, the captain and sailors might make comments about the good wind. On a rainy day, perhaps the rain seems to scatter away enough to be noticeable to those near him. The idea is that people take notice, and perhaps even become suspicious as they try to explain it away.

I really prefer subtle effects like the wind favor, because it shows off that there is more than meets the eye, and leaves witnesses wondering what else might be possible. Even complete strangers can see there is something special about this person, which is something impossible to represent with a magical plus.
 


Flail ideas I have used in the past... none powerful, per se, but of some fun additional use.

Flail, shield yanker: +0 to hit, +1d6 force damage to a foe using a shield.

Flail of Shield Negation: +0, +2 versus shield-using foes.

Flail of Grapple: hit target must make Dex Save vs DC= 5+damage or be grappled.

Flail of Faerie Fire: target hit is afflicted with faerie fire (as per the spell) until another target is hit or the wielder takes a rest.
 

Chocolategravy

First Post
Why would a wind duke, who mostly fly around and beat up demons and chaos, have a weird weapon like a flail? Anyway, how about it does an additional d6 damage when used to smite demons.
 

MarkB

Legend
Since the heads are shaped like censers, how about having them act like censers? Either of their own accord, or when loaded with holy incense, they dispense a pleasant-smelling smoke that fills an area and confers benefits to allies who inhale it, perhaps replicating the effects of certain party-buffing spells. You could assign a different effect to each head.
 

meomwt

First Post
Since the heads are shaped like censers, how about having them act like censers? Either of their own accord, or when loaded with holy incense, they dispense a pleasant-smelling smoke that fills an area and confers benefits to allies who inhale it, perhaps replicating the effects of certain party-buffing spells. You could assign a different effect to each head.

Building on this, one censer could replicate the effect of a Fog Cloud spell, becoming a Stinking Cloud at higher levels.

Ideal for obscuring an approach, an escape, or putting off chasing humanoids, I'd suggest.
 

ehren37

Explorer
Why would a wind duke, who mostly fly around and beat up demons and chaos, have a weird weapon like a flail?

Well, its an incense censor as well, so there's that thematic tie. The holes in the flail heads also create a whistling sound. It's about as "air-y" as a melee weapon can get.

Anyway, how about it does an additional d6 damage when used to smite demons.


Sorry, no more direct combat power for him, either offense or defense. Paladins are pretty overpowered as it stands and he has a 20 Str and Cha at 5th level thanks to insane rolling. He's lucky its not a flail -1 that forces you to spend smites before you see if you crit lol.
 
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ehren37

Explorer
Thanks for all the replies all. I had forgotten about the quirks table, good call. The weapon will grow with him, and upgrade throughout the campaign, so I'll hold onto some of these for a bit.

I'll probably go with the voice amplification - the Wind Duke who owned it was a troop commander, so letting him be heard for a mile is both thematic and fun. I'll also let him speak Auran, thanks to residual knowledge left in it.

I also like the air purification thing - I think 2nd edition's tome of magic had a spell called zone of sweet air. Though again, that's mostly defensive, and I'm already trying to figure out how to deal with him giving out +5 to magic saves next level (seriously, 5th edition you got rid of massive static bonuses and left THAT in?!). S I'm wary of magic bullets vs problems. I'll have to think on it as a later property.

Again, thanks everyone!
 

CM

Adventurer
A couple more:

  • Mid-levels: Create a dust devil when swung as a bonus action (I believe this spell is in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion
  • High levels: Function as a dancing weapon
 

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