[Proposal] New Magic Weapon

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
I've been thinking about a weapon for Tondrek (and useful to other artificer/arcane casters). I'm basing it off of the Unforgettable Cudgel from AV2. Here are the details:

Mastermaker's Mace
This intricate mace easily channels arcane power.
Level 8, 13, 18, 23, 28
Weapon: Mace
Enhancement: +n attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d8 damage per plus
Property: Arcane characters can use this mace as a rod implement for arcane powers.
Property: You can score a critical hit with this weapon on a roll of 19–20 when it is used as a weapon or an implement for an arcane melee attack power.

This weapon chiefly benefits artificers & warlock, who already have rods as implements. It similar to a battle staff in its granting of criticals on a 19-20, but applies to implement melee arcane attack powers; it does not have the re-roll daily power of the battle staff. As said earlier, it is almost a direct analog from the unforgettable cudgel, but does not daze on a critical.

Thoughts? I'm specifically tagging EvolutionKB:, Kalidrev:, renau1g:, and TwoHeadsBarking: so they are aware of this.
 
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KarinsDad

Visitor
I don't think magic items should be created and proposed into LEB for several reasons:

1) There are over 1500 magic weapons and over 2300 implements in the game system already. That means that there are approximately 50 / 75 of each level. Plenty to choose from.

2) One of the design strengths of the game system is that some classes gets some advantages, others get others. When we allow players to design items (or feats or powers) similar to those available for another class, then those boundaries start breaking down. For example, just because Unforgettable Cudgel is in the game system for divine PCs doesn't mean that an extremely similar magic item should exist in the game system for arcane PCs.

3) With regard to this specific item, it is level 8. A higher level 9 Battle Staff only gets its 19-20 critical on a weapon hit, not an implement hit. Yes, the staff has the minor Daily power, but getting an improved critical chance on many melee implement attacks is stronger than that minor once per day ability. So, it starts becoming difficult to balance such an item with items that are already in the game system.

4) This item can be combined with a feat like Sorcerous Blade Channeling and suddenly, many attacks by a Hybrid or Multiclass or Arcane Implement Proficiency Sorcerer are not only a 19-20 critical, but it is using the D8 of a Mace instead of a D4 of a Dagger. Opening the door to 19-20 criticals is problematic in the game system. WotC appears to be going out of their way to limit this with recent updates, not extend it.

5) The game designers currently allow some weapon / implement combinations and do not allow others. With regular players adding to the list, it pushes the game into directions that the game designers have not taken into consideration.

6) Once one player designs an item for the game system, then every player should have that option. And then it becomes "Well, stonegod's item was approved and mine wasn't. I don't see where his was balanced and mine was not.". This just opens up a big old can of worms that we shouldn't open. There are a ton of options available for every single character, we shouldn't open up the door for player designed options as well.


The game system is already becoming a big smorgasbord of "bigger, better, badder" across the board because of new material constantly coming out. It only gets worse when the players design their own magic items, feats, and powers so that their PCs are "bigger, better, badder". This is fine for a table game where the DM has total control, but not for a forum based one for the general public.

At least with the WotC items and such, they are self correcting to some extent. When an item, feat, or power gets out of hand or has too much synergy with other items, feats, or powers, it tends to get erratted. And as many people here know, the best items, feats, and powers are often the targets of WotC updates.

This won't happen for player designed items if we allow LEB players to become game designers. Nobody will be overseeing the balance of such items if the judges just vote them in.
 
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renau1g

Visitor
I'll respond to point 4:

When you use any ranged sorcerer attack power through a dagger, where this proposed weapon is a mace, therefore isn't a dagger. Even if you hybrid, Sorcerous Blade Channeling doesn't work on all your implements just daggers. Even if you grab AIP, it doesn't change this waepon to a dagger, nor affect the wording of SBC.

Re: point 1. Do you believe that WoTC should stop printing magic items by this reckoning? I'm not sure as if they can keep developing new items, then there's obviously still gaps in the current line-up.

As a counter to point 6, one of the major benefits of a living world is that you can create options, like in LEW there's a certain PC who's a trader class, which has been very beneficial for him. Is it better than other prestige classes? Not in combat efficiency, but he has other gains. Actually, every player does have that option under the proposal system. Now, I prefer having items that WOTC comes out with as it is easier for review.

I think it tremendously helps out with the implement/weapon issue that artificers suffer from (which is also something that Wotc appears to be moving towards).

I will agree that it should likely be just on weapon powers though as Battlestaff has set the bar for that.

The judges won't just vote in any item, ie if player x proposed a sword of ultimate killing at level 2, which had a property of knocking unconscious with no save on a crit and granted crit's on 18-20 I would say, nope that's stupid. Heck, if this proposal was for any melee, heavy or light blades, or really almost anything other than a mace, I'd probably be 100% no.

Now if a player proposes a reasonable option (like I feel in this case), I am more inclined to consider it. I'm still not going to vote yet, but it seems like a decently
 
What if it was a club instead of a mace? The likely users of the weaplinment who would want a mace would likely want a high con(infernalocks and con-based artificers), that could benefit from hammer rhythm. Knocking it down to a club still makes it good, but no longer great.

As another point of comparison, is the jagged weapon. Min level 12(+3 ench), better weapons(h blade, l blade, axe), crits on 19-20, and ongoing 10 damage on a crit.

Comparing the two, they are about equal I'd say. jagged can go on better weapons, but the crit feature on jagged is a bit weaker.
 

Velmont

Visitor
As a counter to point 6, one of the major benefits of a living world is that you can create options, like in LEW there's a certain PC who's a trader class, which has been very beneficial for him. Is it better than other prestige classes? Not in combat efficiency, but he has other gains. Actually, every player does have that option under the proposal system. Now, I prefer having items that WOTC comes out with as it is easier for review.
Why have had a funny feeling for a moment? :lol:

My first reflex is to fear that we start to get flood with many such submission and every player finish with a whole homemade equipment... ok, that's paranoid.

I should have asked myself:

What that item bring to LEB?

Fluff: None, at least at first sight...
Crunch: I think Warlock have enough Pact Weapon and they don't need one more option. I must tell I'm not familiar with all the option for the Artificer, but with the battle staff (which can be use by Artificer) around, I don't feel they need that weapon.

So, what does that weapon bring more to LEB, or even to Tondrek?
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Thanks for the feedback. My responses are below.
1) There are over 1500 magic weapons and over 2300 implements in the game system already. That means that there are approximately 50 / 75 of each level. Plenty to choose from.
r1 has countered this one. More items are going to introduced, just as more powers and feats are going to be. Of course, it is in WotC's best interest to do so, but may/may not be in ours.
2) One of the design strengths of the game system is that some classes gets some advantages, others get others. When we allow players to design items (or feats or powers) similar to those available for another class, then those boundaries start breaking down. For example, just because Unforgettable Cudgel is in the game system for divine PCs doesn't mean that an extremely similar magic item should exist in the game system for arcane PCs.
I actually checked before. There are several mace->rod items (or rod->mace items) already. Most are paragon or higher except for the ones for divine characters; the ones not at heroic are mostly arcane (warlock & artificer specifically).
3) With regard to this specific item, it is level 8. A higher level 9 Battle Staff only gets its 19-20 critical on a weapon hit, not an implement hit. Yes, the staff has the minor Daily power, but getting an improved critical chance on many melee implement attacks is stronger than that minor once per day ability. So, it starts becoming difficult to balance such an item with items that are already in the game system.
I am using WotC's own items here as the basis for the creation which (other than discussions like this or on the CharOp board) are our balance indicators.

As a comparison: There are 0 cleric, 7 avenger, and 1 paladin power that benefit from the unforgiving cudgel (there are 2 invoker powers that would, except they don't get holy symbols). There is only 1 artificer power that benefits, 1 warlock, and 0 wizard powers. Swordmages can benefit 3 of their powers and sorcerer's 9 if they take a feat. Thus, artificers and warlocks are not actually gaining all that much from the critical part, though the 1 artificer power at-will.

One could address the perceived crit balance issue by (1) limiting it to artificers only or (2) removing the crit. I'm not opposed to 2, but then it becomes a less powerful "pact-dagger" like weapon and thus should be at a lower level.
4) This item can be combined with a feat like Sorcerous Blade Channeling and suddenly, many attacks by a Hybrid or Multiclass or Arcane Implement Proficiency Sorcerer are not only a 19-20 critical, but it is using the D8 of a Mace instead of a D4 of a Dagger. Opening the door to 19-20 criticals is problematic in the game system. WotC appears to be going out of their way to limit this with recent updates, not extend it.
It doesn't work with Blade Channeling. You are correct that it does work via hybridization, something I did not foresee. This makes the arguments for either of my revision's stronger which I am comfortable with. This is why we have these discussion here.
5) The game designers currently allow some weapon / implement combinations and do not allow others. With regular players adding to the list, it pushes the game into directions that the game designers have not taken into consideration.
And the designer add new ones all the time (the recent addition of crossbows to artificers via a feat). If we are never to add anything, then the proposal system becomes questionable (see below).
6) Once one player designs an item for the game system, then every player should have that option. And then it becomes "Well, stonegod's item was approved and mine wasn't. I don't see where his was balanced and mine was not.". This just opens up a big old can of worms that we shouldn't open. There are a ton of options available for every single character, we shouldn't open up the door for player designed options as well.
Then that raises the question of "what is the proposal system for?" If we accept (which I do not, but I will for the sake of argument) that adding to the system will inherently unbalance it, than the proposal system is moot other than for removing things (which also could also be argued against for balance reasons) or changing LEB's charter. Are you suggesting that we remove the 2/3rds of the proposal system entirely?

The proposal system has been put into place to allow and encourage these sorts of customizations. It is also in place to make sure that any such customization does not overpower said characters (as there are methods to correct for this as well via the proposal system). I understand the school of thought that suggests "RAW only"; I subscribe to it at large but not 100% as that leaves less room for creativity in designing powers/items/feats for individual campaigns.

The main thing to keep in mind when the proposal system is being used this way (as it was intended) is to make sure that the proposed item does not grant something that makes the Living system as a whole unbalanced as you pointed out. I want to repeat that where are methods for correcting such imbalanced: Its the proposal system itself. Anyone can propose an option be corrected if it is too powerful.

In any case, I cannot vote on this proposal, of course. If the judges vote this down, they vote it down. If they vote to accept, then anyone (even KD) can propose to remove it later if it appears too powerful.
 

renau1g

Visitor
Club is an interesting idea.

Not sure if Jagged has a worse crit potential than this though.

3d8 averages 13.5 average (4.5/die) whereas jagged will average around 18-ish (based on a real quick & dirty analysis I did, 50% of 10, 25% of 20, 12.5% of 30, 6.25% of 40, 3.125% of 50), although against solos/elites it's worse, but you can grab that Siberys shard to improve ongoing damage also to bump it up.
 

renau1g

Visitor
It doesn't work with Blade Channeling. You are correct that it does work via hybridization, something I did not foresee. This makes the arguments for either of my revision's stronger which I am comfortable with. This is why we have these discussion here.
Sorry, maybe my optimization hat's not functioning today, but how does it work with blade channeling?

Sorcerous Blade Channeling

Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Sorcerer
Benefit: When you use any ranged sorcerer attack power through a dagger, you can use the power as a melee attack. If you do so, the power’s range equals your melee reach.

I don't see any way around it being used through a dagger, nor any way to change a mace into a dagger... just curious if I'm misinterpreting SBC
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
So, what does that weapon bring more to LEB, or even to Tondrek?
- It allows artificers not to have to switch from a weapon to an implement if they want. They do already get this staffs, correct. But a mace is a one handed weapon, meaning they could have another weapon/implement in the other hand.
- Similar bonuses for warlocks/wizards if it is left as is (acts as a rod for all arcane casters)
- For artificers, will benefit anyone who takes the Self-Forged paragon path in that the power can apply to their battlefist. It doesn't allow them to use 3 implements (as they fist has to be empty to be wielded, and the property only kicks in if the battlefist is wielded.) It, however, isn't any more powerful than allowing the item in the first place with that note.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
What if it was a club instead of a mace? The likely users of the weaplinment who would want a mace would likely want a high con(infernalocks and con-based artificers), that could benefit from hammer rhythm. Knocking it down to a club still makes it good, but no longer great.
A club is in the mace group, so this applies. You could limit it to just clubs, of course, but he you miss the benefits for self-forged later on (not requiring another weapon).

As I said, I'm not against removing the critical property; that came from using the divine item as a base. I'm more interested in having a mace/rod implement interchange (likely at level 7 or 8 [pact sword is race limited at 7, so we could make this class limited; pact-blade is not limited but also has an extra property/power]).
Sorry, maybe my optimization hat's not functioning today, but how does it work with blade channeling?
Its not SBC that is the issue; hybrids get access to implements of each class for both class powers. So a hybrid Sorcerer/Artificer could use the mace for the 9 aforementioned melee implement powers they have. Still wouldn't work for SBC.
 

Velmont

Visitor
- It allows artificers not to have to switch from a weapon to an implement if they want. They do already get this staffs, correct. But a mace is a one handed weapon, meaning they could have another weapon/implement in the other hand.
The staff is quite enough. All implement have their own advantage and disadvantage. That's the staff advantage. The rod advantage is to give you the option to wield two of them.

- Similar bonuses for warlocks/wizards if it is left as is (acts as a rod for all arcane casters)
Warlock have a lot of Pact weapon and Wizard have also access to the staff, no need there I think.

- For artificers, will benefit anyone who takes the Self-Forged paragon path in that the power can apply to their battlefist. It doesn't allow them to use 3 implements (as they fist has to be empty to be wielded, and the property only kicks in if the battlefist is wielded.) It, however, isn't any more powerful than allowing the item in the first place with that note.
Now, that might be good point. I'll need to see what option are offered there. I guess Tondrek is going for Self-Forged.
 

renau1g

Visitor
Now, if you hybrid sorcerer/artificer you have 2 different primaries and the secondaries (Str/Dex for sorcerer, Con/Wis for artificer) have 0 overlap. Essentially you are now relying on all six stats ...talk about MAD

Now the powers in question:
Teleport Bash - sorcerer 3 - pretty weak single-target spell
Spark Form - sorcerer 7 - this one is pretty decent.
One Blow, One Echo - sorcerer 7 - weak single-target spell


After that the spells are 13+, which may or may not ever come into effect here.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Sorcerer/Artificer was just an example; more likely is Sorcerer/Warlock (primary overlaps, though no secondary overlap).
 

renau1g

Visitor
Even with Warlock, only Eldritch Strike is affected right? ... oh and Spread the Corrosion - the 29th level daily.

I couldn't find another Warlock power with melee keyword.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Is something stopping melee bards or swordmages from grabbing Arcane Implement Proficiency (Rods) and using this to great effect?
There are no bard melee implement powers. As I mentioned earlier, there are very few such for the swordmage.
Swordmages can benefit 3 of their powers and sorcerer's 9 if they take a feat.
Now, for the weapon powers for both classes: They can already take Arcane Implement Proficiency (Staffs) and pick up the Battle Staff for their melee crit needs. Actually, they don't have to take that feat if they are just using weapon attacks as it is a simple weapon and they are already proficient in it; it only matters for implement attacks if they want to use the implement bonus (no crits there).

Edits: In either case, swordmages are loosing their warding bonus, of course.
 
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KarinsDad

Visitor
The proposal system has been put into place to allow and encourage these sorts of customizations.
Is it?

I thought that the proposal system was to clean up wonky rules (like non-Kalashtar initiating telepathy) and at one point, to allow Dragon magazine elements into the system in a balanced manner.

At one point in time, many elements of Dragon magazine were not allowed here. Only if a Dragon magazine proposal got accepted after debate did something get in. Now, everything from Dragon magazine is allowed.

The judges have already opened the floodgates to all of Dragon magazine. With a proposal to allow player designed custom items, feats, or powers into the game system (abet one at a time), it just introduces an even larger management and balance set of issues.


A custom designed item that is both mace and rod seems strong. The PC does not need to put away the mace in order to pull out the rod. The PC does not have to own two magic items, just one to handle both weapon and implement powers. This seems a bit potent to me. In fact, Unforgettable Cudgel seems potent to me.

As for which classes this item benefits, it obviously benefits Artificers more than most other arcane classes because they would now have an implement / weapon and that do have powers that benefit from it such as Aggravating Force. And many implements do not have a +D8 critical damage increase, only a +D6.

Is this overpowered? Somewhat. It's not overwhelmingly overpowered, but it is extremely potent.


My main issue is not the power of the item, but that of allowing players to design their own items (and eventually feats or powers). Say, for example, that this proposal gets accepted.

Does the DM then get to decide "Well, I know that Tondrek put this item on his wish list, but I don't think it is appropriate."? Or, is it a matter that once such an item is proposed and approved, Tondrek will definitely acquire that item sooner or later?

It's one thing to have WotC wish list items that may or may not be given in the game, it's another to have a proposal item where it's then more or less expected that the PC acquires the item that the player designed.

The players already get to pick their exact starting items. This doesn't happen in all home games. It's a major benefit here. I'm not too keen on the idea that the players also get to design and pick their higher level items as well and design their PCs to the nth degree. That smacks too much of player entitlement. Why exactly do we have a DM if the player designs their own items?

Players designing and picking their magic items, that's over the edge from my perspective. If the item gets accepted, then the player is going to expect to acquire that item come hell or high water. This item expectation will become the norm and players who might not acquire their wish list items from a given DM might start designing their own items, just so that they too get what they want.

And it introduces a management issue on the web pages as to what is allowed and what is not allowed. Not a problem today with just one such item, but what happens when a lot of people start proposing items specifically designed for their PCs? What happens when players start designing their own feats? What happens when Tondrek's item gets accepted, but someone else's item does not?

From my perspective, we shouldn't even go there. We shouldn't even go there for a weak item because it sets a precedence to allow stronger items in later on.

We have an extremely massive list of items, powers, feats, and classes to choose from. Designing your own should be for home games where the DM has the authority to put the brakes on the game element, not in public games where the judges make that decision ahead of time and then it is nearly impossible to reverse later on (unlike WotC who will nerf items). And, it can create issues with haves and have nots. "Where is the 19/20 crit item for my Druid? Oh, I can go design it? Thanks. Where is the Dimension Door spell item for my Fighter? Oh, I can go design it? Thanks.".

Once you open Pandora's Box, it's hard to close it again.
 

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