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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4856 Posts

Posted - 28 Apr 2017 :  07:48:41  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
A few magic weapons in 5E (i.e. a vicious weapon, vorpal weapon, etc.) require you to "roll a 20 on the attack roll" to gain a magical benefit. Am I to assume that this means the classic straight up 20 roll, or is it a modified 20 (i.e. after modifiers). I suspect it is the former in which case, the vicious weapon, is way underpowered given its "benefit" - it would work better if it did maximum total damage for that attack. Just my 2 cps. And yes, I am thinking up new Swords of Impiltur.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3394 Posts

Posted - 28 Apr 2017 :  15:58:12  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i cant help with your rules clarification but i am looking forward to seeing more swords of impiltur and the history that goes with them (which is the best bit).

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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3391 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2017 :  17:25:29  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

A few magic weapons in 5E (i.e. a vicious weapon, vorpal weapon, etc.) require you to "roll a 20 on the attack roll" to gain a magical benefit. Am I to assume that this means the classic straight up 20 roll, or is it a modified 20 (i.e. after modifiers). I suspect it is the former in which case, the vicious weapon, is way underpowered given its "benefit" - it would work better if it did maximum total damage for that attack. Just my 2 cps. And yes, I am thinking up new Swords of Impiltur.

-- George Krashos



As to the question, yes it pertains to a natural 20 attack roll, not adjusted. As for it being underpowered, eh I don't know. I haven't seen a Vicious weapon in play yet using 5e but the damage output of characters like the Barbarian, Paladin, and Fighter are significant that an extra 2d6 PLUS the normal crit damage of the weapon. So a Paladin who smites (using a 1st level spell slot) with a Vicious greatsword is going to be doing 4d6 (double greatsword) + 4d8 (double smite damage) + 2d6 (vicious) + Strength.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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LordXenophon
Learned Scribe

USA
110 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2017 :  14:51:13  Show Profile  Send LordXenophon an AOL message Send LordXenophon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They are bringing back a very old game mechanic. Two of the oldest magic swords in the game, the Sword of Sharpness and the Vorpal sword, worked the same way. You need a natural 20 on the die, regardless of what was needed to hit. This gives you a 5% chance of the power activating, which is more than enough for these powerful effects.

Disintegration is in the eye of the Beholder.
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sleyvas
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USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2017 :  12:04:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the vicious weapon where you only do an additional 2d6 damage (i.e. 7) of a weapon type IF you roll a 20... that sucks. You also don't get a magic bonus to hit or damage, so even a +1 weapon over the course of 20 hits would do more damage. Also, Compare that to a flametongue which is also rare and does 2d6 fire damage on every hit (granted it requires attunement).

A "vicious" weapon should be more/as common as a +1 weapon based on its usefulness. It should also perform the extra damage on every hit, but reduce said damage as a result (say an extra 1 damage for ammunition <arrows, bolts, bullets, etc..>, light or finesse weapons, 2 for one handed weapons, or 3 damage for heavy or two-handed melee weapons). That would put it on par with say a +1 weapon and more useful. This is where the people who did 3.5 kind of shined. They were better with the "numbers".

They could then make a rare "weapon of superior viciousness" that works as a +1 weapon for to hit and damage, plus adding in additional damage to the bonuses seen above (say +3, +4, +5). Given that this isn't much different than an equivalent +2 weapon where someone gives up some bonus to hit and turns it to damage (like with great weapon mastery), I don't think I'd require attunement.

Then the "Supremely Vicious Weapon" could be exactly like the superior one, but with +3 on to hit and damage, and have the damage go up again (say an extra 4 damage for ammunition <arrows, bolts, bullets, etc..>, light or finesse weapons, 6 for one handed weapons, or 8 damage for heavy or two-handed melee weapons). Make it legendary or somesuch. Oh, and the last one should require attunement.

Oh, and there should be some requirement that these weapons "look" barbed, spiked, extra hooks in the blade, etc...


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 12 May 2017 13:28:22
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2017 :  13:30:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and on the above, it could also be interesting if there were some "pair" of weapons like the above, one light and one medium, meant for a dual-wielder, but they've been separated. Throw in some special ability if they're wielded together.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2017 :  15:25:26  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I dunno. The 5e system has an element of imbalance written into the system, and not all "rare" items have to be equal. +7 damage seems decent enough to me. Players shouldn't even be aware of how "rare" a weapon they rolled anyway.

Edit: Let's just also say that my current Lv12 paladin would be very moderately happy with an extra 7 damage on every hit criticals.
Edit 2: Corrected for drunkenness. The rarity system in 5e isn't an exact system, it's intentionally designed to have highs and lows. A vicious weapon is definitely at the low end of the rare scale, but considering magic item drops are relatively rare, it should still feel like a boon to the players.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 13 May 2017 00:01:32
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  00:32:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I dunno. The 5e system has an element of imbalance written into the system, and not all "rare" items have to be equal. +7 damage seems decent enough to me. Players shouldn't even be aware of how "rare" a weapon they rolled anyway.

Edit: Let's just also say that my current Lv12 paladin would be very moderately happy with an extra 7 damage on every hit criticals.
Edit 2: Corrected for drunkenness. The rarity system in 5e isn't an exact system, it's intentionally designed to have highs and lows. A vicious weapon is definitely at the low end of the rare scale, but considering magic item drops are relatively rare, it should still feel like a boon to the players.



I honestly would rather a +1 weapon that does a +1 to damage on every hit (and if for instance I used great weapon mastery I'd essentially be also turning that +1 to hit into and additional +2 to damage... so a +1 weapon (uncommon) essentially becomes +3 to damage on EVERY hit.... and a +2 weapon (rare) essentially becomes +6 damage on EVERY hit ). So, I'd expect a rare weapon to be better than an uncommon +1 weapon and at least CLOSE to a +2 weapon on the low end. Instead, for comparison, you get 7 bonus damage on every 20th hit. So, comparing... it does 0.35 bonus damage and a +2 weapon does 6 bonus damage on a hit.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  01:01:33  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's all fair enough, but the point I was trying to make is that that's not a primary concern of 5e's rarity system.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4856 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  05:30:38  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I honestly would rather a +1 weapon that does a +1 to damage on every hit (and if for instance I used great weapon mastery I'd essentially be also turning that +1 to hit into and additional +2 to damage... so a +1 weapon (uncommon) essentially becomes +3 to damage on EVERY hit.... and a +2 weapon (rare) essentially becomes +6 damage on EVERY hit ). So, I'd expect a rare weapon to be better than an uncommon +1 weapon and at least CLOSE to a +2 weapon on the low end. Instead, for comparison, you get 7 bonus damage on every 20th hit. So, comparing... it does 0.35 bonus damage and a +2 weapon does 6 bonus damage on a hit.



Thanks sleyvas for putting my gut feel re this item into concise logical, numbers. It's a crap magic weapon in my book.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 13 May 2017 05:31:27
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  06:12:52  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interestingly, it's +7 damage in the DMG, but +2d6 damage in the SRD. The SRD version seems significantly better, because that 2d6 automatically becomes a 4d6 because of the critical - an average of +14 damage on crits instead of +7. Although still, by the books, inferior to a +1 weapon, the extra excitement of rolling another 4 damage dice on a critical is raw fun for non-minmaxers. SRD version FTW.

If the balance is what's grating, I'd reiterate that 5e's rarity system isn't about that. All of 5e is built to have natural peaks and troughs - look at monster CR, druid levelling, etc. If you don't like the item full-stop, then you could change it to uncommon for your game, get rid of it, or make it do even more damage on a critical. Or add in a second feature.

I'd definitely use the SRD version rather than the DMG one though. If I wanted to balance out the rarity tables more, then I'd probably make it uncommon.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  12:41:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Interestingly, it's +7 damage in the DMG, but +2d6 damage in the SRD. The SRD version seems significantly better, because that 2d6 automatically becomes a 4d6 because of the critical - an average of +14 damage on crits instead of +7. Although still, by the books, inferior to a +1 weapon, the extra excitement of rolling another 4 damage dice on a critical is raw fun for non-minmaxers. SRD version FTW.

If the balance is what's grating, I'd reiterate that 5e's rarity system isn't about that. All of 5e is built to have natural peaks and troughs - look at monster CR, druid levelling, etc. If you don't like the item full-stop, then you could change it to uncommon for your game, get rid of it, or make it do even more damage on a critical. Or add in a second feature.

I'd definitely use the SRD version rather than the DMG one though. If I wanted to balance out the rarity tables more, then I'd probably make it uncommon.



I'd actually go even further and make it "high end" common if I didn't do the versions I mentioned above (which perhaps those can be "weapons of savagery"). The +7 damage on every 20th hit (and watch that hit half the time be when you're already killing the monster) would be a yawn for me as a player. These could be the "spontaneously made by craftsmen that say a prayer to a god while crafting" weapons, and have them sell for say 250 gold. This could be that "commonly found" magic weapon that you give to the orc chieftains JUST to give them that magic weapon.... so the party ends up giving them to their NPC's, or uses them as the fodder they need whenever they NEED to sacrifice a magic item to fuel some spell. Low level NPC's may be glad to have them in their towns just because it being a magic weapon enables them to damage certain creatures that have damage resistance/immunity versus bludgeon, slash, and pierce from nonmagical weapons(CR1/2 magmin, CR1 fire snakes, scarecrows, specters, or a CR2 peryton, a CR3 wight or mummy, a CR 4 succubus, or various elementals, lyncanthropes, vampire spawn, etc..) .... but they'd be cr@p enough that "nefarious" parties wouldn't go around killing townsfolk to take their magic weapons. They'd also make great weapons for low level drow rather than giving them all +1 weapons.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2017 :  12:47:28  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos


quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I honestly would rather a +1 weapon that does a +1 to damage on every hit (and if for instance I used great weapon mastery I'd essentially be also turning that +1 to hit into and additional +2 to damage... so a +1 weapon (uncommon) essentially becomes +3 to damage on EVERY hit.... and a +2 weapon (rare) essentially becomes +6 damage on EVERY hit ). So, I'd expect a rare weapon to be better than an uncommon +1 weapon and at least CLOSE to a +2 weapon on the low end. Instead, for comparison, you get 7 bonus damage on every 20th hit. So, comparing... it does 0.35 bonus damage and a +2 weapon does 6 bonus damage on a hit.



Thanks sleyvas for putting my gut feel re this item into concise logical, numbers. It's a crap magic weapon in my book.

-- George Krashos




No problem George. I remember glancing at it and thinking "junk" but you actually opened my eyes to the flaw in its item rarity. Plus, the discussion I've thought through makes this in my mind the perfect "first magic weapon" to give to a party if you make its rarity common. It doesn't give them that nice +1 to hit that they want, but it does let you throw certain low level monsters at them while still at low levels and make them appreciate the weapon simply because it IS magic. As I said above too, it makes a great weapon for drow to still fit that feel that they have magic weapons.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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