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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Hi all!

    This is yet another thread about my dragon BBEG that I've posted several threads about now.

    I'll keep my question succinct:
    There's a Great Wyrm Red Dragon in my campaign who has been cursed to be stuck in human form, unable to shapeshift back to being a Dragon.
    I'm trying to arm him for the final boss fight, and I realized that an artifact would be the kind of thing that a final boss BBEG should have.

    So I'm trying to either find an appropriate artifact for a race-war-mongering cursed Red Dragon who is the son of the (homebrewed) God of Forges, Sound, and Silence, or create an artifact that would be appropriate. However, I'm not super up-to-date on rules about artifacts, so any help with finding one, creating one, or being directed to a good place to look would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you all in advance. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    As the son of the god of forges, why not give him a Hammer that raises a volcano when it hits the ground, or creates earthquakes?

    if it's the bbeg do you plan to continue this campaign after its defeat? if not you can simply go nuts on the artifact, knowing that your players won't have it in their hands afterwards. Or place a curse or a limitation on it (think Thor hammer in the MCU, where only a very few people can lift it, here you could have it that only those with the blood of the god of forges can use it).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    I was considering giving him a hammer of some variety, but I don't know what rules, if any, exist for the creation of Artifacts in the DM's toolkit. I'm willing to bet it's probably "Just make it up", but I'm HOPING for some structure somewhere in some splatbook I'm unaware of.

    He is the BBEG, and I expect at most one fight after him, which would be more for story closure than a mechanical challenge. And the final fight is taking place IN a volcano, so a hammer making volcanoes would be a little weird.
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Why not a hammer controlling the volcano? Basically Mjolnir for Lava instead of Lightning

    The BBEG can use the hammer to summon a spray of lava from the ground.
    The spray of lava deal Xd12 (your choice) damage, half fire half physical in a 10' cylinder with a 30' height, 90' range, reflex halves, sr NO.
    Who does not pass the reflex save are also thrown in the air, falling in a random position 5' or 10' around the area, which is now a stone column. Subjects can attempt a Tumble, Balance or Reflex check with the same CD to fall on their feet and not prone.
    Like a dragon's breath, the ability goes on cooldown for 1d4/1d6 rounds before can be used again

    this ability is a significant threat in terms of damage, cannot be negated by only SR or fire immunity/resistance, can threaten flyers, and forces changes in the battlefield as the battle goes on.

    Does this work for you?
    Last edited by Zerryzerry; 2020-10-23 at 07:21 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcos View Post
    I was considering giving him a hammer of some variety, but I don't know what rules, if any, exist for the creation of Artifacts in the DM's toolkit. I'm willing to bet it's probably "Just make it up", but I'm HOPING for some structure somewhere in some splatbook I'm unaware of.
    As the definition of artifacts in practical terms is essentially "items that aren't bound by the same limits ordinary magic items are", I think you're out of luck with rules for making them. The best I can suggest is to have a look through printed artifacts to get a feel for them.

    Other than the ones in the DMG, there are artifacts in the ELH, BoVD, BoED, PGtF, MoF and LEoF. I think quite a few of the deities in D&DG and F&P have them too.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    There aren't really any rules for creating an Artifact and assigning its abilities. It really is "DM Call" on pretty much everything.

    So, for how you're treating it in the campaign (as in, a final-session reward / McGuffin) it could really be anything. But as an end-game reward, it ought to either do something or mean something to the characters, or it's not really a "reward." Getting the thing should solve some sort of problem that's important to the characters, or be the end goal of the campaign, something they've been after for a while. Otherwise, it's just some really cool magical doodad that they'll never get to use (because the campaign is over). At that point you might as well give them 5 billion platinum and one of every magic item.

    So this would also mean that the precise mechanics of (whatever it is you end up using) really don't matter. It's a plot device, not an item of loot.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    I do like the idea of summoning/controlling gouts of lava. I am a little sad to hear that the rules for artifacts is so nebulous and badly defined, though.

    But I've learned a long time ago that quite a bit of 3.5 is just a shrug and "ad lib it".
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    nijineko's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    The rules are found on DMG p277 and 280. However, you will find that it basically says that artifacts are only introduced by the DM after careful consideration, and not much else.
    Arukibito ga michi wo erabu no ka, michi ga arukibito wo erabu no deshyo ka?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Had you considered an artifact that essentially grants the badguy unlimited magic jar uses? He can't transform back into a dragon because his actual dragon body is sleeping in a volcano somewhere while his spirit jumps from body to body causing trouble and starting wars...
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
    ~ Ernest Hemingway

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    While the magic jar artifact idea is a good one, it doesn't fit with the established story in my campaign about the circumstances of the dragon's curse.

    (Short version, he upset his father by trying to kill all of the non-dragon races and got put in draconic time out)
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    That's what makes it perfect, his body is in a time out. The artifact is a sneaky workaround. The only way to stop his warmongering is to free his huge, powerful, nigh-indestructible body...which then needs to be stopped...maybe? At least he won't be able to do a Palpatine, playing both sides of the war, anymore...

    Eh...your bbeg...just an idea my players are going to hate you for giving me... 😁
    Last edited by aglondier; 2020-10-24 at 02:52 AM.
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
    ~ Ernest Hemingway

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    That... Is actually a really good solution to a problem I've been having, specifically, "Should True Seeing show his draconic form, or his cursed form?"
    If he's _possessing_ a human body and his draconic body is just having a lavabath time out, that's a good answer.

    I still think I want to give him a weapon artifact, though. Some kind of hammer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Give him Fix-It Felix's hammer from the movie Wreck-It Ralph. The hammer repairs things it hits...
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
    ~ Ernest Hemingway

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Troacctid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    You could consider an eldritch machine (ECS 273). They're pretty flexible as to what they can actually do, mechanics-wise, because each one represents a single effect that could be generated with a wish spell.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    OK, given that he's a red dragon (so fire type) and a xenophobe who hates all non-dragons and lives in a volcano, maybe theme it along those lines. Perhaps something like:

    +6 flaming burst warhammer

    3 times a day can fire a burst of lava which does 20d6 fire damage (same as total immersion in lava) to all in the area

    and/or

    acts as a bane weapon against all types except dragon

    Perhaps also any non-dragon who tries to wield it has to make a fortitude save or die and/or gains several negative levels as long as they're holding it.

    EDIT: perhaps those who fail their saves against the lava spray take a further 10d6 damage for the next 1d3 rounds too, as normal for immersion in lava.
    Last edited by Biggus; 2020-10-25 at 05:15 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    The Eldritch Machine definitely gives me something to look at.

    Also, the ideas that Biggus brings up are good ones, although it leads me to another question:

    Are there actually rules for lava somewhere that I've just not found?
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcos View Post
    Are there actually rules for lava somewhere that I've just not found?
    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm#lavaEffects

    EDIT: DMG p.304
    Last edited by Biggus; 2020-10-25 at 06:21 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    I have no idea how I missed that in all my searches for the effects of trying to swim through lava.
    Quote Originally Posted by Milodiah View Post
    I have one PC in my campaign who constantly tries to force his enemies to yield (by shrieking "JUSTICE!" in a high-pitched shrill voice, since he's a freaking Tiny-size fairy cleric of St. Cuthbert).
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    We're horrible people and are waiting for you to let your guard down before we pounce and feast upon your flesh.
    My friend's Sun-Themed Discipline! PEACH!

    My Ice-Themed Martial Discipline! Also PEACH!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Rules Compendium updated the lava rules, if you have access to it.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Rules Compendium updated the lava rules, if you have access to it.
    They look identical to the SRD rules to me, am I missing something?

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Troacctid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    The big change is that it's now fire damage and resistance applies to it normally.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    Ah I see, I'd interpreted that as more a clarification of the ambiguously-worded original than an actual change.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    nijineko's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help Requested, Finding or Creating Appropriate Artifact for boss

    For the hammer... if you don't mind a minor artifact style... given that the bbeg is into destruction, how about borrow from the Artificer class and give the hammer the deconstruction ability, where any magic item destroyed by the hammer (via hp being reduced to 0) is converted into points, only instead of crafting points, it's destruction points. He spends the points to boost the damage of the hammer on a 1:1 basis (one point = +1 damage, or +1dx damage if you are feeling generous), which lasts a few rounds. maybe have the bonus damage manifest as a lava burst ability instead, where a small area is converted to lava and does the x damage per round based on the number of points spent.

    just brainstorming some ideas.
    Arukibito ga michi wo erabu no ka, michi ga arukibito wo erabu no deshyo ka?

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