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3.5 Use and abuse of an item

Greenfield

Adventurer
Hey, this involves a 3.5 campaign, though conceptually the ideas may apply to just about any other edition.

My character is a Wizard of 17th level. He just finished crafting a Ring of Telekinesis, which took months of down time, a small fortune and a ton of Exp.

Now that my character has the item though, I'm thinking it's too much: Use of the Telekinesis spell every round means, potentially, doing 15 to 25 dice of damage to any opponent who weighs less than 350 pounds (all on a single touch-attack, no Save), or up to 15 dice of damage per round to larger foes using a normal ranged attack. (Uses caster stat instead of Dex.)

And that's just the combat uses. So grab someone and "Violent Thrust" them up into the air, then let gravity do its thing (Range is Medium, so 100 ft plus 10 feet per caster level, with caster level being 15.)

Or hurl one or more objects at an opponent, doing damage by object weight or weapon type. (Throw Greater Magic Weapon on 50 or so arrows, shuriken etc, and then fling 15 at a time (one per caster level) and do a D3 plus 3 or 4 per hit. (Yeah, arrows do a D3 with this spell, though other weapons do normal damage.)

Now, we're approaching Epic levels, and to be fair our characters are and should be a force to be reckoned with. In game characters like that should be legendary. Still, it seems like power gaming and that isn't our game.

What would you do, as a player or as a game master? Someone gets/crafts an item that the DM approved of, along with the rest of the table, and it turns out to be so easily abused.

I value your insights.
 

jaelis

Explorer
I'm seeing 15d6 per round, which is impressive, using the violent thrust version. How are you getting 25d6?

I think the main limitation is toting a 375 lb object around constantly, but that is certainly within your capacity.

It does seem pretty strong, but then high level 3e wizards are hella strong. If you're looking for a fair nerf, toning it down to a limited number of uses per day is not crazy. Or perhaps a limited number of uses of violent thrust, let you keep the other abilities at will.

Of course, your BAB is not great, so you won't be hitting all that much.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
If I was the DM of the game, I'd be happy that my level 17 wizard player was sticking with the spirit of the rules, instead of trying to pull the sort of shenanigans that the edition is really known for. At that level, anything really scary is going to be immune to falling damage, and I can't imagine how 20d6 damage as a standard action could possibly break anything.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
Hmm. 25 D6 is achieved by simply hoisting a target up to maximum spell range (100 feet +10 per level) and dropping them.

Of course, this all presumes that you're someplace where you can hoist/fling someone that hard/far.

BAB isn't that big an issue for the personal fling, since it's based on a ranged touch attack, and uses the casting stat instead of Dex for the bonus (caster's stat is typically higher than their Dex). While throwing a Cold Iron bowling ball uses normal AC instead of Touch, a 1st level spell (True Strike) solves that problem easily enough.

As for hefting that bowling ball along on the trip, Shrink Item is an easy way to prepare for such an encounter. One could also carry it on a Tensor's Disk, or (as a final resort) you could simply carry it using the Ring of Telekinesis :).

But it isn't the amount of damage I'm concerned about, be it 15 dice or 25, it's the ability to do that every round, without limit.

Wait a moment, I was just looking at the ring in the DMG and it says the caster level is 9th, not 15th. So that drops the per-round damage limit to 9 D6. Suddenly not so broken.

Have to re-think the investment then. With a weight limit of 225 it suddenly seems underpowered for the price... yet still dangerous to give a caster 9D6 of damage per round, pretty much forever...
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Hmm. I have learn if a weapon/attack/etc is too good, is to ask the player to limit it uses to x per day.
 

jaelis

Explorer
Wait a moment, I was just looking at the ring in the DMG and it says the caster level is 9th, not 15th. So that drops the per-round damage limit to 9 D6. Suddenly not so broken.
Yes that is a big difference.

Regarding the flinging, my memory of how we interpreted the spell was that you couldn't launch a creature that high into the air. I think that was based on the fact that if you launch a creature at a surface, it only takes 1d6 damage, so we figured you could only fling it 10 ft. But perhaps that doesn't make sense.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
10d6 damage, basically a fireball every round to one creature. Honestly seems fine to me...it will be fun for minor engagements but a 17th level wizard has way bigger guns for “real fights”. I say enjoy
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
Yes that is a big difference.

Regarding the flinging, my memory of how we interpreted the spell was that you couldn't launch a creature that high into the air. I think that was based on the fact that if you launch a creature at a surface, it only takes 1d6 damage, so we figured you could only fling it 10 ft. But perhaps that doesn't make sense.
By the spell you can "violent thrust" a target in any direction, up to a total distance of 10 feet per caster level.

Attempting to pick up and carry via "sustained force", they move at a maximum of 20' per round, so using that a caster could slow hoist, over a number of rounds, up to the maximum spell range. At 9th level caster that's 190 feet, or 19 dice of falling damage. That would take 9 rounds though.

Combining the two, however, you could slow hoist them to 100 feet and then Violent Thrust them up to the 190 foot level and get the same result in 5 rounds.

Still, at that point you aren't talking combat. Waaaay too slow.
 

jaelis

Explorer
By the spell you can "violent thrust" a target in any direction, up to a total distance of 10 feet per caster level.
Yes I see that, i think we read "toward" as "in the direction of" as opposed to "all the way to." But I can't say that makes perfect sense now.
 

smetzger

Villager
My wizard I am playing just reached 18th level.

1) that 9d6 is not guaranteed - it depends on environment. spell resistance and saving throw often apply. Plus I believe the SR is based off of CL 9 and the save would be based of Int 15. So, maybe you can injure a flunky or lieutenant but not the BBEG.
9d6 = avg 31.5 and the 15d6 is 52.5 your Barbarian friend should be topping you in one hit, and blow this damage away in a full attack. Much better to haste him then use your ring.

2) If my wizard had one of these he would rarely use it because there are often better options at this level.

3) Plus this takes up a valuable ring slot. I'll stick to my ring or protection and counterspells (with greater dispel magic).

So, all in all I don't think it will break your game. Even if it was 15d6 damage.

I think the bull rush, disarm, grapple, and trip options will be fun and interesting to play rather than doing the straight damage.
Also, out of combat uses will be very high.
 
I have a question. If you can just use the standard telekinesis to violent thrust someone into the air then why does the Master of the Unseen Hand prestige class (Complete Warrior) get a class ability called Fling Skyward which does exactly what you're talking about. Or is this some sort of weird hold over from 3E?
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
I have a question. If you can just use the standard telekinesis to violent thrust someone into the air then why does the Master of the Unseen Hand prestige class (Complete Warrior) get a class ability called Fling Skyward which does exactly what you're talking about. Or is this some sort of weird hold over from 3E?
The original question's specifics were about 3.5's Ring of Telekinesis, so no, it wasn't a "weird hold over".

The larger question was, what would you do as a player if you found your character in possession of an item that you found way too easy to abuse?

The TK ring was simply the example at hand.

As an aside: D&D 3.5 includes a special set of Feats in one of the source books, called "Reserve Feats". With the right feat a character can prepare/have available a spell (usually 4th or higher) to match, and then get a minor version of that spell's power to use every round. The group I play in approved *some* of these, specifically outlawing any of the ones that allowed for unlimited use of damage causing effects.

That is, there's a Feat called Fiery Burst that lets a caster throw a mini-fireball up to 15 feet away, with a 5 foot burst, doing one D6 for each level of the Fire spell they have in reserve. They can do that every round. There's a similar one for cold, and for lightning and probably for acid )though I can't recall the name of that feat off hand.)

Because the group voted to outlaw those in order to prevent the "damage each round, forever" type of thing, I elected to remove the ring from the game. The current DM agreed that that was the best, so it somehow got "lost", and I'll recover the creation costs.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Because the group voted to outlaw those in order to prevent the "damage each round, forever" type of thing, I elected to remove the ring from the game. The current DM agreed that that was the best, so it somehow got "lost", and I'll recover the creation costs.
Those feats are very good at lower levels, I remember them fondly. But at high levels they no longer scale to be worth it. You have so many resources at those high levels, its much more about how much pain can you pack into a single round. Actions are what matter.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
Those feats don't even work until caster level of 7th or higher. They all require a spell of at least 4th level to be "reserved". And I agree, the damage dealing ones are small potatoes at that level, but they are an endless supply of those small potatoes, so they are worth something.

Some of the others, however, can be worth giving up a spell slot semi-permanently for.
 

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