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5E Path of Exile inspired virtue-skill gems as magic items

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Formed from equal parts miracle and magic, virtue-skill gems condense singular abilities into stunning jewels that thrum and pulse with purpose. Virtue-skill gems require attunement, and their colour denotes their placement; green virtue-skill gems occupy limb attunement slots, red virtue-skill gems occupy chest attunement slots, and blue virtue-skill gems occupy head attunement slots. Placing a virtue-skill gem is an simple as holding the virtue-skill gem above the intended body region, and the virtue skill-gem will sink and bore into the body. All classes can make use of virtue-skill gems.

FROST BLADES [Green]
You cause your melee weapon to be sheathed in frost. The creature hit by your melee weapon attack takes double your weapon damage dice and 1d6 cold damage. Any creature within 10 feet of you takes 1d4 cold damage. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Players with the frost blades virtue-skill gem sometimes find their voices cracking with the sound of distant glaciers, and their weapons emanating extreme coldness.


What do you all think? More shall be forthcoming :)
 
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Ash Mantle

Adventurer
CLEAVE [Red]
You bring great violence to those around you. Creatures within 10 feet of you hit by your melee weapon attack take double your weapon damage dice. Your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Players with the cleave virtue-skill gem sometimes emphasize their conversations with PUNCTUATION, and they seem to hover on the threshold of explosive anger.

LEAP SLAM [Red]
You bound into the fray smashing to the ground with fury. You can make a standing long jump of 30 feet and make a melee weapon attack immediately after dealing your normal weapon damage dice. Creatures at the point of impact of your leap slam must make a Strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. Unless the save succeeds, you can knock the target prone or move it up to 10 feet in any direction horizontally. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Players with the leap slam virtue-skill gem sometimes barely sit still.

SWEEP [Red]
You sweep away the chafe of enemies around you like wheat upon the wind. You make a single melee weapon attack against creatures within 10 feet of you, creatures hit by your weapon attack are knocked prone. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Players with the sweep virtue-skill gem sometimes spin idly around in circles.
 
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Nutation

Explorer
Red gems are strength skills (could add Con), green gems are dex skills, blue gems are int skills (or maybe other mental stats?). You are hnting at that.
They definitely require attunement; you can only have a limited number.
However, the PoE skill gems give at-will attacks. The closest analogy may be gaining an architype's fighting style. There are also narrower options such as a single battlemaster maneuver or land druid spell.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Red gems are strength skills (could add Con), green gems are dex skills, blue gems are int skills (or maybe other mental stats?). You are hnting at that.
They definitely require attunement; you can only have a limited number.
However, the PoE skill gems give at-will attacks. The closest analogy may be gaining an architype's fighting style. There are also narrower options such as a single battlemaster maneuver or land druid spell.
Thanks heaps for your feedback, bro!
Yeah, that's something I was alluding to, but didn't really want to spell out clearly, these are meant to be inspired by the original after all :). Also agree with the requirement of attunement.
Remaking these into fighting styles is actually an excellent idea, I'll try to write them that way (and possibly also model some off battlemaster maneuvers or land druid spells).
 

Formed from equal parts miracle and magic, virtue-skill gems condense singular abilities into stunning jewels that thrum and pulse with purpose. Virtue-skill gems require attunement, and their colour denotes their placement; green virtue-skill gems occupy limb attunement slots, red virtue-skill gems occupy chest attunement slots, and blue virtue-skill gems occupy head attunement slots. Placing a virtue-skill gem is an simple as holding the virtue-skill gem above the intended body region, and the virtue skill-gem will sink and bore into the body. All classes can make use of virtue-skill gems.

FROST BLADES [Green]
You cause your melee weapon to be sheathed in frost. The creature hit by your melee weapon attack takes double your weapon damage dice and 1d6 cold damage. Any creature within 10 feet of you takes 1d4 cold damage. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Players with the frost blades virtue-skill gem sometimes find their voices cracking with the sound of distant glaciers, and their weapons emanating extreme coldness.

What do you all think? More shall be forthcoming :)
I think Frost Blades should probably actually give a cantrip-like at-will-type ability, as should a lot of gems, as others have noted. The red gems make more sense as 1/SR-type abilities.

They gems you're describing are very powerful mechanically, but these are the original, extremely dangerous skill gems, which lead to the downfall of multiple civilizations, so that makes sense. And of course the consequences weren't really known initially. Presumably they use the same three attunement slots as magic items?

One thing you need but are missing is the Action-type used to activate these. Like Sweep, presumably that's an Action? Leap Slam is presumably also an Action? Cleave would presumably be "When you use the Attack action, as a Bonus Action you may...".
 


I think you mean Green Flame Blade - i.e. you hit the main target, and a secondary target takes damage, which is similar to Frost Blades. Just have more range on the secondary damage (like 10' or 15') and make it ice (Booming Blade is the one that stops them from moving). And at higher levels maybe instead of hitting one extra target for more, it hits multiple extra targets (each for 1d8+stat mod - DEX I guess in this case). It's fine if it's a bit better than Green Flame Blade given it's a magic item, and takes an attunement slot - you can get incredibly powerful items for an attunement slot (like all these recharging staves/wands etc.).

Agree re: Spectral Throw. That would actually be incredibly useful to a throw-centric build - never run out of ammo, no need to take the stupid pointless feat so you can quickdraw more items, and Force damage, would be actually be a really good deal even with no added stuff on top of that. Man I'm tempted to just put that straight into my game if I see a PC who is throw-centric.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Thanks heaps, @Ruin Explorer and @Nutation, those are all excellent ideas and suggestions and questions! I'll go back to the drawing board modeling on those abilities and mechanics you guys suggest, iterative design is always great and great to learn from; I'll also be sure to actually state the action-types of activation.
Also glad this brainstorming could serve as inspiration!
 

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