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Thread: Vampiric Sword

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Vampiric Sword

    I am making a vampiric sword as a unique magic item for a player of mine. In 3.0 there was a vampiric property that dealt 1d4 extra damage and healed the wielder a like amount.

    Some ideas:

    Sword that deals x necrotic damage and he heals a like amount. (too powerful?)

    Sword that heals him x amount when he slays a creature. (too weak?)

    Any ideas? Has anyone else made a "vampiric" weapon?
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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    Quote Originally Posted by Baptor View Post
    Sword that heals him x amount when he slays a creature
    This. I like that the best, both for flavor an mechanics.
    It siphons the life force from any creature killed by it, healing the wielder an appropriate amount (half the damage done, all the damage done, a set amount, whatever) with the stipulation that while wielding the weapon the player cannot use the "Knocking a Creature Out" rules on page 198 of the PHB.
    It wants to kill, it NEEDS blood, and it won't let you pull your punches when using it.
    Last edited by Shadow; 2014-11-17 at 08:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    This. I like that the best, both for flavor an mechanics.
    It siphons the life force from any creature killed by it, healing the wielder an appropriate amount (half the damage done, all the damage done, a set amount, whatever) with the stipulation that while wielding the weapon the player cannot use the "Knocking a Creature Out" rules on page 198 of the PHB.
    It wants to kill, it NEEDS blood, and it won't let you pull your punches when using it.
    You can also restrict the amount of uses if you need to with an "until a long rest" stipulation.

    I do agree that "life after kill" is a better mechanic than "life on hit" (to use Diablo terms) for a D&D vampiric sword.
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    if you wanted to get really silly you could bring it up to artifact levels and have it drain the HP of the user to empower each strike, and then refund life upon killing an enemy. and then you could have it have an uber ability that would sacrifice something like your hit die to do something really special. like once per day you could sacrifice half of your hit die for the day to gain regen (x) for that many dies worth of rounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baptor View Post
    Sword that deals x necrotic damage and he heals a like amount. (too powerful?)
    There was a weapon like this in a season of Encounters back when they were playtesting 5e. I don't think this was too powerful at all, but if you think it might overdo it then you could make that ability only work once per round like Sneak Attack, so the character in question chooses to use and can't proc it 2-4 times per round.
    No longer will you have to worry about what color shoes you have on during a full moon to get an additional +1 to your attack roll.
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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    How about making it reward temporary hp (one or two) per hit? That's a non-staking but reoccurring bonus.

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    Or once per short rest the attuned wielder can use their bonus action after a successful attack to add 1d6 damage and regain as many hp.

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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    First, thanks for all the wonderful input!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    This. I like that the best, both for flavor an mechanics.
    It siphons the life force from any creature killed by it, healing the wielder an appropriate amount (half the damage done, all the damage done, a set amount, whatever) with the stipulation that while wielding the weapon the player cannot use the "Knocking a Creature Out" rules on page 198 of the PHB.
    It wants to kill, it NEEDS blood, and it won't let you pull your punches when using it.
    Oh my goodness, I LOVE this. The sword is actually going to have a curse on it of sorts, and this might fit the bill perfectly. All it can do is murder. I was thinking of making it a fixed amount based on his proficiency bonus, so he'd heal whatever that bonus was per kill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosvii7 View Post
    There was a weapon like this in a season of Encounters back when they were playtesting 5e. I don't think this was too powerful at all, but if you think it might overdo it then you could make that ability only work once per round like Sneak Attack, so the character in question chooses to use and can't proc it 2-4 times per round.
    Yeah I remember that sword, but I have been looking through my packets and can't find it. Anyone know what adventure it was in? There are a lot of them! Also if I go with life on hit I think the once per round limitation is a nice touch. It was the whole fighter multiattack thing that worried me about this option.

    Strongly leaning in favor of "life on kill" option with the caveat that the sword cannot knock creatures out, only kill them.
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    Another possibility would be to focus on the draining effects over the recovery - striking with the sword somehow inhibits healing (maybe it drains hit dice used for recovery), maybe it drains spell slots, and generally it hurts the enemy more than actually helping the user.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    As a Vampire Sword, it confers awesome power at a steep price. "This sword is utterly destroyed by direct sunlight".

    Keep your sheath on hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Another possibility would be to focus on the draining effects over the recovery - striking with the sword somehow inhibits healing (maybe it drains hit dice used for recovery), maybe it drains spell slots, and generally it hurts the enemy more than actually helping the user.
    I've been thinking about this approach too, a la chill touch. Basically if the sword hits and does damage the target can't heal by any means on the next round, which would include cure spells, potions, regeneration and the like.

    It's cool but I am not sure if it screams "vampire." Still thinking. Keep the ideas coming and thanks again!
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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    We could base it off the warlock's "Dark One's Blessing" power (Fiend pact), which heals him for [Cha+level] whenever he reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points or less. Just change it to explicitly mention a killing blow with that weapon.


    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    We could base it off the warlock's "Dark One's Blessing" power (Fiend pact), which heals him for [Cha+level] whenever he reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points or less. Just change it to explicitly mention a killing blow with that weapon.


    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.
    How about possibly extending to you can't heal from anything that doesn't have a life force. So you couldn't heal from constructs or animated objects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlooney View Post
    How about possibly extending to you can't heal from anything that doesn't have a life force. So you couldn't heal from constructs or animated objects.
    Way ahead of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Way ahead of you.
    You speak the truth there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlooney View Post
    How about possibly extending to you can't heal from anything that doesn't have a life force. So you couldn't heal from constructs or animated objects.
    Well he did say "living creature" specifically

    edit: ninja'd by both the rebuttal and the concession, what a fail
    Last edited by Hytheter; 2014-11-18 at 12:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baptor View Post
    Yeah I remember that sword, but I have been looking through my packets and can't find it. Anyone know what adventure it was in? There are a lot of them! Also if I go with life on hit I think the once per round limitation is a nice touch. It was the whole fighter multiattack thing that worried me about this option.
    Against the Cult of Chaos. IIRC it's still a part of the last playtest packet they made.
    No longer will you have to worry about what color shoes you have on during a full moon to get an additional +1 to your attack roll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.
    Is charisma really the right stat for this?

    I mean wouldn't constitution fit more, or better yet the victims constitution.

    Possibly use proficiency bonus + creatures hit dice, that way you are guaranteed something from you based on your level and something that represents the life force of the victim.

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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    Could have it heal just the +bonus every hit or half of weapon damage (d8 for longsword) every hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    We could base it off the warlock's "Dark One's Blessing" power (Fiend pact), which heals him for [Cha+level] whenever he reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points or less. Just change it to explicitly mention a killing blow with that weapon.


    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.
    Quoted for reference...

    Nightveil - Rare Greatsword
    Etched in ancient runes along the bloodgrove of the blade are the words "Death is the longest night"

    Any time the user of this weapon strikes an opponent below half hit points, the user is granted 1d4 temporary hit points. This effect cannot happen more than once per turn.

    If the target is reduced to 0 hit points or less, Nightveil produces an effect similar to cure wounds. (2d4 hp + strength mod of wielder) As the sword consumes the soul of its target. Creatures that have their soul consumed cannot be returned to life by any spell short of wish or its equivalent. This effect cannot affect undead, constructs or the like.

    The Eternal Night curse:
    Prolonged usage of the Nightveil's soul consumption ability slowly darkens the users vision, eventually rendering them permanently blind. Spells and effects that remove the blinded condition have no effect. Remove curse restores sight, but only until Nightveil is used to kill again, at which point the blindness immediately returns.
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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    The Life Drinker eldritch invocation could also be a good place to start -

    "Hit a creature with weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to CHA modifier" (summary bc lazy).

    So then say you get half back?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosvii7 View Post
    Against the Cult of Chaos. IIRC it's still a part of the last playtest packet they made.
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Balyano View Post
    Is charisma really the right stat for this?

    I mean wouldn't constitution fit more, or better yet the victims constitution.

    Possibly use proficiency bonus + creatures hit dice, that way you are guaranteed something from you based on your level and something that represents the life force of the victim.
    Oh, this is a good idea too, although at higher levels this might mean nearly 30 healing per kill which is pretty awesome but perhaps too awesome?

    Right now I am leaning towards heal per kill based on proficiency bonus. I would do a fixed amount but I like items and weapons that grow with the characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valefor Rathan View Post
    The Life Drinker eldritch invocation could also be a good place to start -

    "Hit a creature with weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to CHA modifier" (summary bc lazy).

    So then say you get half back?
    Interesting. I may add Necrotic damage as another weapon property to this sword.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    We could base it off the warlock's "Dark One's Blessing" power (Fiend pact), which heals him for [Cha+level] whenever he reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points or less. Just change it to explicitly mention a killing blow with that weapon.


    Vampiric Weapon
    Weapon (any slashing or piercing), very rare
    You have a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, when you use this weapon to kill a living creature, it absorbs the creature's life energy and channels it into you, thereby healing you for a number of hit points equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum 0) + the creature's hit dice (minimum 1). Constructs cannot benefit from the healing provided by this weapon property.
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    Default Re: Vampiric Sword

    Are you willing to completely break the mould? If so, how about the weapon gets more powerful the more you kill with it?

    Start with +1 to hit sentient beings. After x kills (or x HD worth of kills) of sentient beings, it grows in power: greater enchantment, necrotic damage, whatever. The more vampiric-themed the powers, the better. But the more powerful the powers, the higher the HD of sentient beings needed to maintain that power level is. (No slaughtering peasants to keep the sword uber).

    Note the sentient beings can be evil, so this sword isn't completely evil, just evil-ish

    But if you don't feed the weapon regularly, it starts to feed on you instead, and starts to loose power as well. Dropping the weapon doesn't do anything, have it be attuned to the player's soul, latching unto it so to speak. Distance doesn't matter. Incidentally this makes sundering the weapon a bad idea, unless you really want to create a new character

    Effects on what it does to you should depend on how powerful the sword is. So if it can drain a level on a crit, well... You REALLY don't want it to start feeding on you., etc.

    This should make for a very interesting mechanic, just how powerful do I want this monstrosity to get, knowing that if it gets out of hand one day it will eat my soul.

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    The "Dragonlord" novels (by Joanne Bertin) have some interesting items that could be adapted.

    In the third book there's a lyre made from the wood of a tree planted over the grave of a cannibalistic bard. The wood picked up his spiritual essence.

    You could do something similar as the back story - a weapon used in the tomb of a fallen Barbarian (or other) has absorbed his essence and makes the wielder Hulk-out.

    If you want to make it more in depth, the dead guy had mixed levels of Warlock and Barbarian. As the trapped essence takes more life, it becomes more powerful (doing more damage and healing the user more [physically]) but it drives the wielder to greater acts of violence and depravity.
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    I handed a vampiric sword to my fighter last night (kind of a preemptive apology for having him murder his own dragon egg), and have decided that it works like this: +1 to hit and damage. If attuned, deals 1d6 necrotic damage, and upon landing the killing blow on a living creature, he heals 3d6 health (to the max hp of the creature killed). If he takes the victim to 0 with this sword, they are dead. No hostages.

    EDIT: I decided on 3d6 because that's how much damage/gain a full vampire gets, at least according to the HotDQ supplement.
    Last edited by Marcelinari; 2014-11-19 at 05:54 PM.

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    Another idea is to tie the effect to a class feature. Giving it to a rogue? Tie it to sneak attack (look at my "giving my group magic items" for my example of this.) Fighter? Make it work with action surge, deal extra damage and heal same amount. Barbarian? Make it give temp hp per hit when raging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valefor Rathan View Post
    The "Dragonlord" novels (by Joanne Bertin) have some interesting items that could be adapted.

    In the third book there's a lyre made from the wood of a tree planted over the grave of a cannibalistic bard. The wood picked up his spiritual essence.

    You could do something similar as the back story - a weapon used in the tomb of a fallen Barbarian (or other) has absorbed his essence and makes the wielder Hulk-out.

    If you want to make it more in depth, the dead guy had mixed levels of Warlock and Barbarian. As the trapped essence takes more life, it becomes more powerful (doing more damage and healing the user more [physically]) but it drives the wielder to greater acts of violence and depravity.
    That's pretty cool. For our sword, the back story is already established. It was the sword of a powerful vampire lord ages ago who was destroyed. The sword was then lost to history until the fighter found it in an old tomb. The truth is the vampire transferred his soul to the sword when his physical form was destroyed so its an intelligent weapon. The vampire has already started to talk to the fighter in his dreams but as of now he has no idea its a vampire or that it's coming from the sword.
    The plot I have is that the more people he slays with the sword, the more powerful it becomes. Eventually he will learn that if he sacrifices some of his own vitality (1 point of Constitution) the sword will become very powerful indeed. If he does this, the vampire's spirit will use this in an attempt to possess him and regain a body once again. There will be some kind of battle and if the fighter wins, the weapon will probably become some kind of artifact at that point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baptor View Post
    That's pretty cool. For our sword, the back story is already established. It was the sword of a powerful vampire lord ages ago who was destroyed. The sword was then lost to history until the fighter found it in an old tomb. The truth is the vampire transferred his soul to the sword when his physical form was destroyed so its an intelligent weapon. The vampire has already started to talk to the fighter in his dreams but as of now he has no idea its a vampire or that it's coming from the sword.
    The plot I have is that the more people he slays with the sword, the more powerful it becomes. Eventually he will learn that if he sacrifices some of his own vitality (1 point of Constitution) the sword will become very powerful indeed. If he does this, the vampire's spirit will use this in an attempt to possess him and regain a body once again. There will be some kind of battle and if the fighter wins, the weapon will probably become some kind of artifact at that point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    You're doing D&D right. Just sayin'.
    Wow thanks! If there are no objections I think I'll put that in my sig.
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