View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Re-applicable Objects of Power (Looking for feedback)

2015-05-11, 05:36 PM
So long story short I've recently left the group I was gaming in (on the off chance anyone remembers my other posts/threads all of those were the group I gamed with), but I wanted to get a little outsider feedback on one of the more notable aspects of the session that I was (partially) in charge of before I left, and that was the introduction of a set of 4 powerful gems that could be applied to any weapon at any time and subsequently removed later on, giving a bit of a powerup to whomever was wielding it at the time.

The only thing is, these gems and the boost they gave were different from most items I've seen in most people's games, inasmuch as the power they would bestow upon the wielder would be dependent on the strength of that wielder, shown through the numbers as becoming more powerful at higher levels. I came up with this idea after thinking about how many shows, books, etc. would so often have the main character using the same weapon throughout a given series. While most characters would obviously improve in skill with better feats, the weapons themselves would also sometimes "level up" to become more powerful, either by transforming into a more stronger form or by suddenly sprouting new abilities alongside what they already did (slicing, smashing, what have you, now with fire!).

I dunno, at the time the guys in my group were really not into the idea and said that objects like those were game breaking and/or weren't in the spirit of D&D, that only people, not objects, could "level up". Were they correct? I can provide the specifics if you all deem it necessary.

2015-05-15, 10:40 PM
I suppose I'll bump this with actual information instead of just saying "bump" like some kind of tool.

Each of the gems had a single primary function to start out with, and a secondary power when brought together into a single golden bracelet ala that gauntlet from the MCU. Each stone was aligned to one of the 4 elements and, for the primary function, enhanced either the user or his weapon with one particular spell effect that I believed fit with that element the best. Also just so I don't have to repeat myself 4 times anytime I write an "x" it basically means "your level divided by 2 rounded down", capped at x=10 when a player hits level 20 for all of them. To activate the gem simply take a free action to touch it and the effect will activate.

Fire: The first one I made, and possibly the most debatable in brokenness to the layman. Applying this one to your weapon would essentially make it a Flaming weapon without taking up any enchantment slots (this also allows for a light source and being able to use it as a fire source if you're clever enough to think of that), with the caveat being that the strength of the bonus, instead of being a flat d6 variant, is instead a 1dx. This damage is not affected by critical modifiers, but it can be applied to a ranged weapon.

Water: Pure water can be summoned as a Wall of Water x times a day, regardless of environment. If anyone cares to ask tell them that the water is summoned from the Plane of Water, much like a Decanter of Water. (at least that's where I assume a Decanter gets it from) This can be applied to a ranged weapon to summon a wall where the projectile lands, however keep in mind that the water will act like a wall until the spell runs out.

Air: When activated you can summon a Gust of Wind x times a day in the direction you choose, emanating from your position. This can technically be applied to a ranged weapon, but it's generally unadvisable since the direction of the wind blast will be random (roll a d8 to determine direction).

Earth: When activated you may essentially cast Repel Metal or Stone x times a day. This effect will only last one round, however, so don't think you can just hit the gem once and call it a day. Much like with the Air gem, while it can technically be applied to a ranged weapon, the effect's direction will be randomized upon the projectile landing so please take care of when/where you fire it.

When all of the gems were brought together along with the bracelet, they formed a single object of power that, when worn, applied all of the above powers to the user, as well as the opportunity to use all of the bracelet's power for the day to transform into an elemental up to one size category larger or smaller than your own.

2015-05-16, 07:07 AM
At first I was going to lean towards agreeing with your group on this, since most attempts to make scaling items in DnD fail (since they mess with the existing WBL system). But then I got to the stats at the bottom and went, "Really?" A damage bonus that is barely enough to stay relevant, and use of three very specific utility/control spells that only increase in uses/day was enough to make your group feel you'd somehow violated the spirit of DnD with items that could level up? A Lesser Crystal of Energy is 3k, a Decanter of Endless water is 9k and way more broken than Wall of Water, Gust of Wind is admittedly a little more difficult to get multiple times per day but is also useless against anything but fog spells. The only remotely broken effect is Repel Metal, which you dropped to 1 round at a time. That is certainty a good ace to have against anything that relies on weapons, so you know, not any dangerous monsters. Fuse all the items to turn into a Large Elemental 1/day? Pretty neat trick that's useful into mid-high levels, but still not breaking the spirit of anything. Free action activation is pretty huge, but you can still only do it on your turn to generate situational defenses, basically giving the DM a pass to throw a bit more stuff that would usually be scary knowing the players can negate it for free.

Mechanically you're fine. Presentation-wise you may have gone overboard, as people tend to do when they've made something they're proud of. I imagine the problem was that you pitched it the same way you did in the first post: you made some cool items that get stronger as you level up and can be combined into a super item and it's awesome guys! "Waaah items are dumb I want to be important." This is only countered by handing players the full not-so-overwhemling stats, or better yet not telling them at all and just letting the stuff show up when it does, unless your players are aware enough of the game and themselves to have a discussion about what they want before playing. I think you had the group that invited you out to play 4+ hours from home and then blew you off? They'd already decided they didn't want to play your game so anything new wasn't gonna fly and obviously they weren't going to have a serious discussion about what kind of game everyone wants. Good luck on finding a new group though!

2015-05-16, 09:18 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah my presentation was definitely the worst part in trying to implement this, not helped by the fact that when I first introduced the Fire gem the bonus I told them initially was WAY more insane. (This was my first game I DM'd and when they asked for the details I panicked and said 2d8 without meaning to)

That MAY have colored their responses to the gems further down the line. At least once we got to the point where they were combined into the one bracelet they seemed relatively ok with the whole thing, they had to do a dungeon for each piece of the puzzle you see.