D&D 5E Looking for feedback and/or suggestions for a homebrew item for a Curse of Strahd campaign

Vyndora

Guardian
I apologize if this the wrong place for this. I didn’t know where to put it and this seemed closest to my purpose in posting it. I’ve submitted this to other forums as well as multiple subreddits. Granted Reddit’s view count can’t tell me if anything was actually read. After nearly 700 views however, nobody has commented yet so I thought I would give this a shot. It is rather long. I am playing Curse of Strahd for the first time and the moment I ran into a certain, well-armed character I decided I wanted what that character had. (Trying to avoid spoilers for anyone not familiar with the campaign and characters). The DM is fine with that so the question became, what features would the item bring to the table. Since no actual explanation for exactly what the item is or how it was obtained by the character possessing it, I decided to use the Dark Gift concept as introduced in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft as the foundation for for the item and went from there using provided lore and the expanded lore from u/DragnaCarta’s Curse of Strahd Reloaded on the Fanes/Megaliths. (Found here for anyone curious: https://www.reddit.com/r/CurseofStrahd/comments/8ryr9b/revisions_for_running_curse_of_strahd_the_fanes/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf )

I’m happy to share the story I came up with and how it ties into the lore, as well as why it’s uniquely suited for my character based on her backstory and the way she is built with anyone that wants to know, but what I would like from all you lovely Homebrew aficionados is some feedback on the balance of the item. As it stands, the features it provides change based on level, fanes purified of Strahd’s control, and which fanes, if any, have been purified. Thanks in advance!

So for features of the bond with the item:

Always Present
  • Entwined Existence – Your symbiote has its own Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. It speaks, reads, and understands Common and Druidict (From it's time spent on the druid host). With Caomhnóir’s guidance, you gain proficiency in History (limited specifically to Barovian History) and Survival (limited to the demiplane of Barovia)
  • Sustained Symbiosis – The symbiote wants to protect its host (i.e. you) as possible. When you fail a saving throw, you can have the symbiote expend one of your Hit Dice to roll it and add that number to your saving throw. If you use this on a Death Saving Throw, you succeed and regain 1 hit point regardless of what is rolled on the d20. Once you succeed on a save with this ability, it can’t be used again until you finish a long rest.
  • Symbiotic Agenda – This being has its own goals and expects you to help it achieve them. Work with your DM to determine the being’s personality and temperament (how patient is it?). If you have an opportunity to advance the symbiote’s agenda and don’t, the symbiote can forc you to make a Charisma saving throw (DC = 12 + symbiotes Charisma modifier) or be charmed by it for 1d12 hours.
  • Symbiotic Defense - This being seeks to protect it's host. When Caomhnóir is not encumbered or bound it springs to its host defense against attacks, providing +2 AC.

Fane Based Features
No Fanes Purified:
  • Barovians with a soul and an alignment of "good" suffer disadvantage on saves against Intimidation checks made within 10 feet of the item..
  • Claw: Attacks made with the item deal 1+Str Mod slashing damage instead of bludgeoning.
  • Decay: Prolonged contact with the item is harmful to living things. Living matter held by, or holding on to, the item takes 3d4 necrotic damage for every round it remains in direct, physical contact with the item. This effect is permanent and cannot be turned off.
  • Any light, both magical and non-magical, within 60ft. of the item is 66% less effective and sources directly producing light, such as an object Light has been cast on, are immediately extinguished or put out as if doused, smothered, or dispelled if directly touched by the item..
  • Shadow Whip: Using an attack action, the item creates three long, vine-like whip covered in visible waves of darkness that lash out at your command toward a creature you can see within 30ft. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 1d6 necrotic damage, and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.
  • Resistance to Necrotic damage.
  • Vulnerable to Radiant damage and must make a Constitution saving throw DC 5+dmg dealt and is blinided until the end of your next turn.
  • Shade's Sight: Magical darkness does not impede your darkvision.

One Fane Purified:
  • Barovians with a soul and an alignment of "good" suffer disadvantage on saves against Intimidation checks made within 10 feet of the item..
  • Claw: Attacks made with the item deal 1+Str Mod slashing damage instead of bludgeoning.
  • Decay: Prolonged contact with the item is harmful to living things. Living matter held by, or holding on to, the item takes 2d4 necrotic damage for every round it remains in direct, physical contact with the item. This effect is permanent and cannot be turned off.
  • Any light, both magical and non-magical, within 60ft. of the item is 33% less effective and sources directly producing light, such as an object Light has been cast on, are immediately extinguished or put out as if doused, smothered, or dispelled if directly touched by the item
  • Improved Shade's Sight: Magical darkness does not impeded the darkvision of you or any allies within 60ft. Any ally without darkvision within 60ft. gains the ability. They can see in dim light within the radius as if it were bright light, and in Darkness as if it were dim light. The ally can’t discern color in Darkness, only Shades of Gray.

Two Fanes Purified:
  • Barovians without a soul and an alignment of "evil" suffer disadvantage on saves against Intimidation checks made within 10 feet of the item
  • Claw: Attacks made with the item deal 1+Str Mod slashing damage instead of bludgeoning and is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming resistances.
  • Decay: Prolonged contact with the item is harmful to living things. Living matter held by, or holding on to, the item takes 1d4 necrotic damage for every round it remains in direct, physical contact with the item. This effect is permanent and cannot be turned off.
  • Eyes of the Rozana: You can see in darkness, including magical, as if it were bright light. Any ally without darkvision within 60ft. gains the ability. They can see in dim light within the radius as if it were bright light, and in Darkness as if it were dim light. The ally can’t discern color in Darkness, only Shades of Gray. This ability is not impeded by magical darkness.

All Fanes Purified:
  • You have advantage on any Intimidation check made against Barovians without a soul and an alignment of "evil." These targets also suffer disadvantage against this check.
  • Claw: Attacks made with the item deal 1+Str Mod slashing and 1d4 radiant damage.
  • Purification: Prolonged contact with the item restores the vitality and spirit to living things while inflicting divine punishment on creatures defiling the land of Barovia. These creatures suffer 3d4 radiant damage for every round spent in direct physical contact with the item. Additionally, at character level 6 you can cast Lesser Restoration*and *Protection from Poison without material components a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier, provided the target remains in direct contact with the item for a number of minutes equal to 10 + the CR of the source of the condition. This does not mean 3 times for each spell. There is no way to reduce the time needed and if contact is broken in anyway, regardless of for how long, the target does not gain the effect of the spell and the attempt at casting it counts against the number of available uses. You can use the spell Purify Food and Drink 1/day. Use of this spell recharges after a long rest.
  • Greater Eyes of the Rozana: You can see in darkness, including magical, as if it were bright light. This ability extends to any allies within 30ft. of you and magical darkness cannot impede it.
  • No longer vulnerable to Radiant damage.
  • Immunity to Necrotic damage.

Fane purification features
  • Forest Fane: You and any ally within 30ft. is granted the protection of a Nondetection spell.
  • Swamp Fane: You and any ally within 30ft. is granted the effect of an Absorb Elements spell.
  • Mountain Fane: You and any ally within 30ft. is granted +1 to their AC and has advantage on any Dexterity saves to reduce or avoid damage from attacks and spells.

Level Based Features
Lvl 6: You gain the Resiliant (Constitution) feat.
Lvl 7: The ability to cast the spell Darkness 3/day. If all Fanes are purified, this becomes Daylight. All uses of this spell are regained after a long rest.
Lvl 8: The ability to cast Inflict Wounds*as a 1st level Cleric 3/day on Undead targets. If all Fanes are purified, this becomes *Cure Wounds and the target must remain in direct, physical contact with the item for a number of minutes equal to 10 + the character level or CR of the target. All uses of this spell are regained after a long rest. Interruption of direct physical contact with the item will result in failure and counts against the number of times it can be cast per day.
Lvl 9: The ability to cast Shield even if your reaction for the round has been used.
Lvl 10: You can cast the Fly spell 3/day. This manifests as a pair of dark, smoke-like wings sprouting from your back and last for the duration of the spell. If all Fanes are purified this becomes white, angelic wings. Uses of this spell are regained after a long rest.

And there it is. If you slogged through all that I truly appreciate it. I would love to get some feedback and/or suggestions.🙇🏻‍♀️
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
That’s a lot. Some classes don’t have that much text. That seems like a few artifacts smashed together.

My honest feedback is pare that way, way down. As is it reads like a Monty Haul item. A campaign’s worth of Monty Haul items in one go.

Pick maybe two bullet points from that list and that’s one good magic item. Most of those bullet points on their own would make decent if limited minor magic items. Some of those bullet points are artifacts unto themselves.

If it can’t fit on an index card, it’s probably too much. If it takes multiple pages on standard paper, it’s definitely too much.
 

Vyndora

Guardian
That’s a lot. Some classes don’t have that much text. That seems like a few artifacts smashed together.

My honest feedback is pare that way, way down. As is it reads like a Monty Haul item. A campaign’s worth of Monty Haul items in one go.

Pick maybe two bullet points from that list and that’s one good magic item. Most of those bullet points on their own would make decent if limited minor magic items. Some of those bullet points are artifacts unto themselves.

If it can’t fit on an index card, it’s probably too much. If it takes multiple pages on standard paper, it’s definitely too much.
Oh my god thank you! You’re the first person to respond. I’ve never homebrewed anything like this. I just gof back into it about 2 or so months ago and the DM is relatively new to that role as well. Back to the drawing board. 🤗
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Oh my god thank you! You’re the first person to respond. I’ve never homebrewed anything like this. I just gof back into it about 2 or so months ago and the DM is relatively new to that role as well. Back to the drawing board. 🤗
Cool idea. Way too much power.

A standard weapon that leveled it’s pluses, +1 at 4th, +2 at 8th, etc, would be awesome. Giving it one cool power, like switching damage type to another standard would be really cool, and kinda already creeping into too much.

Definitely hold off on homebrewing items you hope to see in game if the DM is new. That will go bad quickly.
 

Vyndora

Guardian
Cool idea. Way too much power.

A standard weapon that leveled it’s pluses, +1 at 4th, +2 at 8th, etc, would be awesome. Giving it one cool power, like switching damage type to another standard would be really cool, and kinda already creeping into too much.

Definitely hold off on homebrewing items you hope to see in game if the DM is new. That will go bad quickly.
Great idea! I liked the idea of it doing necrotic damage but gradually doing less as the fanes got purified and ending up dealing radiant damage.
 

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