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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Wyntonian's Avatar

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    Default Designing a Secret Weapon

    NeoSeraphi, Eldest, Zap Dynamic, please only read further if you trust your ability to not metagame.


    So, in a game I'm running, a militaristic city-state has developed a secret weapon, a crossbow-like weapon that emits a countermagnetic thrust that violently repels all ferrous metals within a certain radius of the bolt. The bolt itself must be of magnetized iron, but loses its special powers once fired. The idea is that you fire a couple of these at a line of armored pikemen, which either pushes them back through their armor, or makes their spearheads break off. Alternatively, if you're being charged by cavalry, not only do the (presumable armored) riders get thrown off, but the horse gets tripped by its shoes, and gets the bit stuck through its head.

    Even better, throw up a handful of nails, or even iron shavings, and have a shotgun. It could also be used to blow through locked doors by taking out the bolt, or to give cover against a large flight of arrows by pushing the steel heads away.

    I presume you see now why this would be a stone-cold bitch to balance, yes?

    Here's what I have so far.

    The weapon itself counts as two-handed and exotic, has a range increment of 50 feet, and deals no damage on a hit. Rather than targeting individuals, the wielder shoots at squares. The square through which the bolt passes, as well as all squares within 5 feet are affected, with different items reacting differently.

    Iron or steel weapons count as being effected by a disarm attempt. The wielder does not get to add any modifiers whatsoever to the opposed roll. Magic items get a +3 to the opposed roll per point of enhancement bonus.

    Individuals wearing ferrous armor are counted as being bull rushed. Again, the wielder does not add any modifiers to the roll.

    Horses wearing metal shoes are subject to a trip attempt, again without any modifiers applied to the wielder's roll. They do not receive a size bonus, nor one for having multiple legs. If the roll is successful, the horse is tripped and falls prone. A rider is entitled to a Ride check against a DC of 15 to not take damage, as per the description of the Ride skill.

    The wielder can, at their option, target a single metal lock. This counts as breaking down the door. The wielder gets a +4 to the strength check, but cannot apply any other modifiers.



    I imagine there would be plenty of other potential effects, so I come to the playground for help writing them up. I'd like to see something for launching little metallic bits and for providing cover against arrows.
    Guess who's good at avatars? Thormag. That's who.

    A Campaign Setting more than a year in the making, Patria!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lohj's Avatar

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    Default Re: Designing a Secret Weapon

    Just some thoughts.

    If a target has any metal items hidden on them that are not in their respective cases, the bolt causes them to drop from their wielder's body. If the object is a sharp one, i.e. one that causes slashing damage, then teh wielder takes damage equal to the weapon's damage die, with no additional modifiers.

    Also, if there are steel plates in the terrain that cannot be moved, wouldn't the bolt be redirected? Like:
    Artemis, a 9th level Ranger who chose to specialize in ranged fighting, fires the Ionizer (You didn't give me a name) along a hallway that has large amounts of it made with Iron. The hallway extends 10 ft in a straight line, then turns 90 degrees to the right, extending 20ft, where her target is currently. She knows he's there because of the polished metal on the wall that creates a 45 degree angle at the corner of the turn in the hallway. She fires the bolt, with a BAB of +9. She rolls a 10, and has a Dex bonus of +4, making her attack equal to +23. She rolls a 10, declaring that she is firing at the polished metal shield. Since this beats the DC of hitting the thing (10 base + 5 (10/2 ft) -5 since it's a part of the wall + 10 (20/2 ft) for a total of 20), the bolt launches towards the metal, almost meeting it before rebounding along the hall, and taking her target full in the face.

    Any of that help?
    Last edited by Lohj; 2012-08-01 at 05:23 PM.
    I am an Oxymoron. Calm, cheery, deadly, furious.


  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Designing a Secret Weapon

    Simpler idea: Make it have the effect of Repel Metal (the druid spell) but only 1 round, and then balance it by the cost of the weapon and the bolt (and of course it's two-handed and exotic and takes a FRA to reload.)

    Since it's producing the more useful half of an eighth-level sort-of-utility spell, but at a far shorter duration, and it's supposed to be a superweapon I'd say 2000gp for the weapon itself and 200gp for a bolt. In addition, a character who is not proficient must make a DC 15 Dexterity check when firing or have the weapon shoot in a random direction (but no more than 45 degrees off from where it was aimed.)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Wyntonian's Avatar

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    Default Re: Designing a Secret Weapon

    I'm aware of Repel Metal, but because this is going into a real-live low-magic world, and will be in the hands of NPC's, I don't want it to completely wreck battlefields as we know them, just give a tangible advantage.

    And Lohj, that is interesting, certainly. However, it doesn't matter what you aim at, really. If you can hit a 5-foot square, that's all that matters. And even if you hit someone, it doesn't do anything. Base damage is 0. This is meant to, say, disarm a mob, or push back charging knights (because they'd be subject to three different effects).

    What should it do if there's a handful of nails on a table, for example, and you launch those at an enemy? Hell, have your teammates toss up as many shurikens as they can and flechette those bastards.

    Everyone applying for my most recent GITP game, Crime and Punishment and Profit, GTFO.


    In the opening scene of an upcoming game, I plan for someone to use one of these and a couple handfuls of arrowheads and silverware to shred the front-row seats of a theatre. So, the whole shotgun effect may very well be the most important thing to stat up.
    Guess who's good at avatars? Thormag. That's who.

    A Campaign Setting more than a year in the making, Patria!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lohj's Avatar

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    Default Re: Designing a Secret Weapon

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    I'm aware of Repel Metal, but because this is going into a real-live low-magic world, and will be in the hands of NPC's, I don't want it to completely wreck battlefields as we know them, just give a tangible advantage.

    And Lohj, that is interesting, certainly. However, it doesn't matter what you aim at, really. If you can hit a 5-foot square, that's all that matters. And even if you hit someone, it doesn't do anything. Base damage is 0. This is meant to, say, disarm a mob, or push back charging knights (because they'd be subject to three different effects).

    What should it do if there's a handful of nails on a table, for example, and you launch those at an enemy? Hell, have your teammates toss up as many shurikens as they can and flechette those bastards.

    Everyone applying for my most recent GITP game, Crime and Punishment and Profit, GTFO.


    In the opening scene of an upcoming game, I plan for someone to use one of these and a couple handfuls of arrowheads and silverware to shred the front-row seats of a theatre. So, the whole shotgun effect may very well be the most important thing to stat up.
    Okay, I see it now. What I was aiming for was a bolt that hit someone, lodged in them for the round, and knocked all of their held equipment out of their hands. And, as I JUST realized that it is a low-level magic world, I suggest this: For your statting, if, for example, you want to do a flachette style attack, would it be the item's base damage (1d4 for knives and forks and nails other miscellaneous tiny items of metal, and then increase the die by one step per size.) And, for attack, couldn't it be a ranged touch attack cone, using the wielder's attack for ac?
    Like:

    Ionizer (Secret Weapon)
    Flachette Burst
    Lining up the weapon's barrel with the target, you launch the bolt forward, over top of your target's heads. They are allowed a split second of relief and confusion before the scattered metal fragments and items on the floor shred them.
    Range: 5 ft cone per 3 items of metal in initial area.
    Make a ranged touch attack against all targets within range.
    The initial area are all items in a 5ft area in front of you.
    Damage: 1d4 per small item, increasing by one die step per item size, and the damage die are divided as evenly as possible between all targets within range.
    Last edited by Lohj; 2012-08-01 at 09:38 PM.
    I am an Oxymoron. Calm, cheery, deadly, furious.


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