Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Crafty Part 2: Extraordinary Items

What if I want my Weapon to Be Awesome?
Sure, we all do.  That's why this system introduces Features that can be worked into the item. 

  •  Each feature you add to an item (in this case, weapon, but it should work on armors too) increases the complexity of an item by one or more and increases the weapon's level by one or more.  You may add multiple features to an item, but never so many to reach a complexity higher than 5 for the crafting challenge.
  • Once you get to Complexity 3-5, instead of requiring HARD DCs, it simply requires a certain number of DCs of one degree higher (Easy requires 2-4 Moderate, Moderate requires 2-4 Hard, Hard requires 2-4 checks of Hard DC +5) 
  • Each feature may also add an additional related skill to the Crafting Challenge.  You must succeed on each related skill of an item at least once to finish the item.  
  • Each Feature also has related Flaws.  Whenever you fail, the DM gets to choose the flaws of the weapon (it will never have more than 1 greater flaw or 2 lesser flaws, but could have as few as one lesser flaw). These flaws come from the choices related to the weapon or to the Features that are being added.  
I have started putting together a list of potential features for weapons.  I am generating this list by going through the magic weapon list and thinking to myself, "Self, could this be done non-magically in a weapon?"  If the answer is yes, I decide it should be craft-based, rather than magic-based.  Here are three I have created so far:

  • Feature: Wicked Type: Weapon (Any Weapon)
Complexity +1 Key Skills: Intimidate
Level +1
Benefit: This weapon gains the Wicked Item Feature
Wicked (Item Feature)
The designs and structure of your weapon make it look far worse than it is.
Free Action Target: The creature hit
Trigger: You hit a creature who is at maximum hit points with this weapon.
Effect: You deal 1d6 extra damage per tier.
Lesser Flaw (1 failure): The DM gains access to the Silly Looking Item Flaw
Silly Looking (Item Flaw)
Occasionally, an enemy will find the designs of your weapon utterly ridiculous.
Free Action  
Trigger: You attempt an intimidate check while holding this weapon.
Effect: Roll twice and take the lower of the two rolls.
Greater Flaw (2 failures): The DM gains access to the Wildly Impractical Item Flaw
Wildly Impractical (Item Flaw)
Your weapon may look scary, but in actual combat, it is frequently impractical.
Free Action
Trigger: You roll a 1 on an attack while using this weapon.
Effect: You grant combat advantage to all opponents until the end of your next turn.  
  • Feature: Distance Type: Weapon (Any Ranged)
Complexity +1 Key Skills: Thievery
Level +1
Benefit: This weapon gains the Distance Item Feature
Distance (Item Feature)
You have a special mechanism that can be activated to improve the range of your weapon.
Free Action  
Effect:  The normal range of your weapon increases by 5 squares, and the long range of your weapon increases by 10 squares until the end of the encounter. Lesser Flaw (1 failure): The DM gains access to the Erratic Mechanism Item Flaw
Erratic Mechanism (Item Flaw)
The mechanism sometimes makes shots fly wild.
Free Action
Trigger: You activate the Distance feature on this weapon 
Effect: Roll your attack roll twice and take the lower of the two rolls.
Greater Flaw (2 failures): The DM gains access to the Jammed Mechanism Flaw
Jammed Mechanism (Item Flaw)
The mechanism keeps locking up whenever you use this weapon.
Free Action  
Special: To activate this power, the Distance Item Benefit must have been used during this encounter.
Effect: This weapon gains the “load minor” property until the end of the encounter.  If it already has the load minor property, it gains the load move property.  If it already has the load move property, it gains the load standard property. (I know these properties don't exist. I'll reword it.) 
  • Feature: Acidic Type: Weapon (Heavy Blade, Light Blade, Spear)
Complexity +1 Key Skills: Arcana or Thievery, Dungeoneering
Level +2
Benefit: This weapon gains the Acidic Item Feature
Acidic (Item Feature)
You have used your knowledge of alchemy to rig a well that shoots acid as you strike with your weapon.
Standard Action
Effect:  Make a melee basic attack against an enemy within range.  If this attack hits, it deals normal damage, in addition, the target of the attack, or another target within 5 squares takes 5 ongoing acid damage.
Lesser Flaw (1 failure): The DM gains access to the Clogged Mechanism Item Flaw
Clogged Mechanism (Item Flaw)
The acid doesn’t flow as smoothly as it should, and occasionally it clogs the mechanism.
Free Action  
Trigger: You roll a 1 on an attack roll. 
Effect: Your Acidic Item Feature is expended.
Greater Flaw (2 failures): The DM gains access to the Pitted Metal Flaw
Pitted Metal (Item Flaw)
The metal used in your mechanism can’t stand up to the acid in your blade.
Free Action  
Trigger: You use the Acidic Item Benefit
Effect:  All attacks you make with this weapon are weakened (save ends).

Example Time:  
Remember Hoborne from the last Crafty post?  Well, now that he’s back in town, reunited with his party, he wants a very cool scimitar.  He finds his group-mate, Fergus the Dwarf, and asks him what kind of scimitar he can make.  Fergus mentions he might be able to make a scary-looking scimitar that can shoot alchemical acid from an acid well in the hilt.  To do this, Fergus will need to succeed on a Complexity 3 (Base 1+1 Acidic+1 Wicked), Level 6 (Base 3+1 Wicked+2 Acidic) Crafting Challenge.  Since Scimitars are Military weapons, he will need to succeed on moderate DCs 6 times (DC 15), and hard DCs twice (DC 23) to finish his weapon.

Fergus will have to make at least 1 dungeoneering check, 1 Arcana or Thievery check, and 1 Intimidate check.  He will be able to incorporate lots of special materials in this design to hopefully get some bonuses.  If he fails once, the DM would have 3 different lesser flaws he could choose between, and on a second failure, 3 greater flaws to pick from-or he could assign a second lesser flaw from the two he didn’t pick the first time. Being a Thief and a Dwarf, he will likely be focusing on Thievery and Dungeoneering checks, throwing his Intimidate Check when he has a really good superior quality material he can use for a nice bonus.

Next time, we’ll look at adding magic to items...

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