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Mercurial Greatsword

BVB

First Post
So where did the idea for a mercurial sword come from, anyway? Was it originally an element in a fantasy novel? I'd love to read more about it, if only I knew where to look ...
 

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A2Z

Explorer
BVB said:
So where did the idea for a mercurial sword come from, anyway? Was it originally an element in a fantasy novel? I'd love to read more about it, if only I knew where to look ...
Right, I'm going home. Why I even try...
 

Negative Zero said:
y'know, the so called "game balance" argment is just the ultimate GMs tool for telling a player "nyah-nyah you ca-an't haaave it!" :p

seriously tho, DnD IS a min-maxer's game. always has been. (at least 3.0 which is the bulk of my DnD experience always has been.) the DnD system assumes that the characters will specialise. and that different specialties will come together to make a great fighting whole. heck there was even min-maxing advice in the back oh my PHB.

the idea that somehow you were a "munchkin" if you were specialised in combat simply came about when some of us got older and started getting tired/bored with simply killing things. there is nothing wrong with powerful weapons. unless of course you've "graduated" to more social games. in which case, just don't use 'em.

~NegZ

Sorry, I'm not good at deciphering jokes, sarcasm, etc.

Yes, DnD is a "munchkin's paradise" since the game designers can't possibly fix every abuse. I'm pretty sure they never dreamt of slaad farming.

I don't think there's a problem with players wanting to be powerful. However, I think players themselves know when something is balanced or not. They had to know the pre-errata'd mercurial greatsword and the 3.0 Archmage was broken.

Ken
If a player want an item then it is up to the player and the Gm to come to terms. Game balance it ultimately in the DM hand. if the party is tough then you just add a few more mobs . If the game master feels some how a weapon is unbalancing there are lots of ways to bring the game in balance, .The game is about both the players and the game master creating a good game right?
Ken
Correct. Personally I think the errata'd mercurial greatsword is kind of silly, but if a player wanted one I'd be happy to let them. (Indeed, I might say the same pre-errata, if I got to errata it myself. :) ) I think DMs should still be able to say "no" sometimes, however.
 

Chun-tzu

First Post
Carceri said:
It isn't so much JUST the mercurial greatsword as it is the character wielding it. Ok, let me give you an example of what the character wielding one of these in the campaign I am running. He's a half-orc fighter/weapon master; with feats that are geared towards getting the most he possibly can out the particular weapon he uses (improved crit, power critical, specialization). I don't think some of you are taking into account such things when seriously weighing the differences between a standard greatsword wielder and a mercurial greatsword wielder.

The Mercurial Greatsword has been discussed a few times before on these boards, and the general consensus has been that the errata'd version is very balanced. Somone even did the math to prove it. Most people who object to it object to the concept, not to the numbers.

The maxed-out weapon master concept has been done, many times. It's not overpowered. Critical hits have their share of limitations, so a character based on maxing crits is going to be effective, but not super-effective.

If you're running a 3.5 game, then it's even less of an issue, because of how they nerfed crit maxing (keen effects don't stack with improved critical).
 
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DiFier

First Post
My problem with the Mecurial great sword is definitally concept. The idea works great for chopping off heads that are on a chopping block. but I think that there would be a problem with overextention. you don't have to worry about overextention when you are chopping off a head as an executioner. but when you are using it in a fight it would be all wacky. most swords ballance very close to the hilt. I think that they should have left the Mecurial great sword as it was originally but added that when you use it against an apponint who treatens you, they get an attack of opertunity. if you attack someone, hit or miss, you open yourself up to an AoO. makes sence to me. I don't think too many people would take it with that stipulation.
 

totoro

First Post
DiFier said:
My problem with the Mecurial great sword is definitally concept. The idea works great for chopping off heads that are on a chopping block. but I think that there would be a problem with overextention. you don't have to worry about overextention when you are chopping off a head as an executioner. but when you are using it in a fight it would be all wacky. most swords ballance very close to the hilt. I think that they should have left the Mecurial great sword as it was originally but added that when you use it against an apponint who treatens you, they get an attack of opertunity. if you attack someone, hit or miss, you open yourself up to an AoO. makes sence to me. I don't think too many people would take it with that stipulation.

Perhaps you better fix the orcish double axe, dwarven urgrosh, battle axe, and flail while you are at it.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
If a player came up to me and wanted to play a character like Guts from the Berserk anime, I'd let him take this type of sword as long as he paid the proficiency for it.
 

Negative Zero

First Post
(Psi)SeveredHead said:
... Yes, DnD is a "munchkin's paradise" since the game designers can't possibly fix every abuse. ...

now i disagree. DnD isn't a "munchkin's paradise" because of the ability of people to find loopholes, it's that way because that's what is fun. and as a game, it's supposed to be fun.

seriously, how many movies/stories do you see out there written about mundane things? not a whole lot. the really fun ones are about the excepeional characters and/or the exceptional circumstances/situations they find themselves in.

RPGs in general, i think, try mostly to recreate that sort of cinematic/dramatic atmosphere. and you really can't do that with Joe Average. at least, I don't think so.

now i'm not saying that this is the only way to play the game, not at all, there are a very many ways to play, and as long as everyone playing is having fun, then all is good.

the point of my aimless and possibly pointless rambling, is that DnD is at its heart a min-maxer's game, coz that's the way heroes are built. each hero in myth/literature has a niche and fills it well, howver, often they are inadequate in other areas. DnD tries to recreate that.

~NegZ
 


ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Carceri said:
I feel the mercurial greatsword is the most broken weapon I've ever seen.

Even with the errata? Many felt that the errata for the weapon made it balanced. This is the official errata for it from Wizards of the Coast:

"p. 70, Weapons Table: Mercurial longsword-Change damage from 1d10 to 1d8. Change crit from x3 to x4."

"p. 70, Weapons Table: Mercurial greatsword-Change damage from 2d8 to 2d6."

Get the full Sword and Fist errata document here:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/er/er20011228a
 

Caspian

First Post
Erm, if I may.

While I'm not sure about the fictional origins of the weapon the idea (of having a moving weight in your sword) comes from the middle east, not entirely sure when but when they could afford to experiment and do really fancy inlay work. Typically it was a ball bearing set into a hollow in the sword somewhere near the base I believe. Whether it worked or not, I don't know, it may have been a weapon like the flamberge, a show thing.



Jonathan
 

totoro

First Post
DiFier said:


Why do their center of balances shift too?

The orcish double axe would be less efficient used as a double weapon than just swinging a single weapon, since the entire purpose of an axe is to gather momentum for your swing.

The battle axe would have the same problem as the mercurial sword because it has a much heavier head than haft. The flail is even more off-balancing.

My point was simply if you start giving AoO against combatants with mercurial swords, you may as well start giving AoO against combatants with other arguably unweildy weapons.
 

Carceri said:
Thank you all for your responses and your input, and thanks for welcoming me to the forum. So the mercurial greatsword is from a story that is basically more of a sci-fi/fantasy genre than a straight up fantasy genre? I always did get the impression of 'Final Fantasy' when I considered the merc greatsword.

Anyway, I suppose some of us can agree to disagree, but I feel the mercurial greatsword is the most broken weapon I've ever seen. Drawing comparisons to a scythe...hmmm... ok, I see your point somewhat, but I think I'd rather see someone trying to abuse a scythe (as silly as it may look) than a merc greatsword. It isn't so much JUST the mercurial greatsword as it is the character wielding it. Ok, let me give you an example of what the character wielding one of these in the campaign I am running. He's a half-orc fighter/weapon master; with feats that are geared towards getting the most he possibly can out the particular weapon he uses (improved crit, power critical, specialization). I don't think some of you are taking into account such things when seriously weighing the differences between a standard greatsword wielder and a mercurial greatsword wielder.

Yes, the threat range is lower on a merc greatsword, but a merc greatsword crit has more potential to kill a foe in one blow than a standard greatsword does. I don't even think a greataxe is as deadly.

I thank you for some of your suggestions, but I do not know as though I can bring myself to sunder a character's favorite weapon. That isn't normally what I like to do and I don't think I've ever used the Sunder ability on a player yet. Sundering is not as easy as it sounds to begin with anyway. As I stated previously, this particular merc greatsword is magical; a mercurial greatsword of the planes. It just so happens that the creatures that they are fighting most of the time are outsiders, and none of them wield +4 or better weapons.

Sunder is unnecessary, simply have them try to disarm him. In our campaigns, if you're fool enough to be a one-weapon-wonder, then you get what you deserve. Specialisation is one thuing, making yourself only useful with the right weapon is a serious strategic error.

Remember, outsiders aren't dummies, they'll talk to each other, word'll get around about this deadly half-orc with the massive sword;

Pit Fiend 1: Hey were's Badaxe Blooddrinker

Pit Fiend 2: Didn't ya hear, that bloody half-orc with the big sword took him out.

PF1: that's the seventh one this year. That half-orc's a menace.

PF2: Yeah! He wouldn't be so tough without his damn sword!

PF1: hey, that's given me an idea....

A campaign setting is supposed to be a fun challenge, not the pc's private slaughterhouse with monsters just lining up to die like cattle.

My 2c
 

reapersaurus

First Post
I don't think Carceri has been listening to the nuts-and-bolts of the errated Mercurial Greatsword as mentioned by Chun-tzu, ColonelHardisson, and the first guy (sorry).

It was statistically proven (as I remember) that the MG was not unbalanced in comparison to a boring old greatsword, especially when having to burn a feat to use it properly.

But that thread was at least 2 years ago - it'd be great if someone had it archived, to prove the point again.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
SpikeyFreak said:
Edit: Yes, do a little experiment. Take an empty 2-liter bottle and hit your computer with it as hard as you can. Now take one half-full and do it. See which one does more damage.
And take one that's entirely full of water and hit something, and you'll do even more damage. The idea behind the mercurial sword is that when you hold it point-up, the mercury is in the handle, putting the center of gravity there. When you swing it, the mercury flows toward the point moving the CoG along with it, providing "free" momentum. The half-full bottle experiment shows that you do not gain this free momentum, because of pesky things like the first law of thermodynamics (aka "There is no such thing as a free lunch").
 

Carceri

First Post
I don't think Carceri has been listening to the nuts-and-bolts of the errated Mercurial Greatsword as mentioned by Chun-tzu, ColonelHardisson, and the first guy (sorry). I don't think Carceri has been listening to the nuts-and-bolts of the errated Mercurial Greatsword as mentioned by Chun-tzu, ColonelHardisson, and the first guy (sorry).

It was statistically proven (as I remember) that the MG was not unbalanced in comparison to a boring old greatsword, especially when having to burn a feat to use it properly.

Actually, I am quite aware of the eratta on the mercurial greatsword and that is the version of the weapon that is being used in this campaign. I'm telling you how I see it from my perspective as a DM, week to week. The weapon is unbalanced. On it's own, it is not so unbalancing, but in the hands of the right character it is.

Statstically proven... LOL. By who? Just because someone's experiences differ from anothers doesn't necessarily proove anything; and that as I why I say we can agree to disagree. I'm sure for every gamer that feels the munchkin greatsword is a balanced weapon, there is another gamer who feels just the opposite.

And don't give me that crap about paying the extra feat. You gotta be kidding me. Enough levels in Fighter will get you enough bonus feats to make up the difference. What's one feat to an 8th or 10th level Fighter?
 

Tallok

First Post
My DM was a bit annoyed when his little brother was so obsessed with getting a mercurial great sword, but had no clue what it did
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
I don't think the point about using an entire feat in order to use one weapon is crap. It's rather harsh to put it that way. That's why fighters get so many feats, in order to spend them on things like this. I'm actually not sure what constitutes "unbalanced" if one takes away the statistical aspect of it.
 

Carceri

First Post
The maxed-out weapon master concept has been done, many times. It's not overpowered. Critical hits have their share of limitations, so a character based on maxing crits is going to be effective, but not super-effective.

I never implied that the Weapon Master prestige class was overpowered. Where did you see me say that? I offered the Weapon Master as an example of how the merc greatsword can be abused. Get it? It isn't so much the merc greatsword itself, it's combinations that exist to be used by players to fully abuse it.

Yes, critical hits have their fair share of limitations...against undead, oozes and constructs? While those types of creatures can be fun to pit againts a party now and then, I don't necessarily enjoy running whole adventures setup that way.
 

Carceri

First Post
Even with the errata? Many felt that the errata for the weapon made it balanced. This is the official errata for it from Wizards of the Coast:

Yes, EVEN with the eratta version. The munchkin greatsword is a ridiculous weapon, IMHO. And I think the idea to incorporate it in D&D was a mistake to begin with because of the opportunities that exist to abuse it.
 

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