Monthly Archives: September 2014

Heroic Weaponry

A Hero’s Weapon is a legendary weapon wielded by a hero of great renown. Any weapon or armor has the potential to become a Hero’s Weapon, and as it’s wielder increases in power, so does the weapon’s (or armor’s) own power increase. At each level, a PC gains a number of Upgrade Points equal to his previous character level. Thus, a 4th level character increasing to a 5th level character gains 4 Upgrade Points. These points may be used according to the tables below to upgrade any weapon, armor, or shield that he or she wielded for a majority of the previous level’s adventuring. Certain special abilities may or may not be available at the DM’s discretion, and special ability prerequisites may be modified by the DM. These bonuses act as magic bonuses.

When wielded by someone other than the PC who imbued the weapon with power, the total available bonuses are equal to half of the weapon’s total bonus (which special abilities and enhancement bonuses available are up to the DM) until the character has gained Upgrade Points of their own and has used the weapon enough for it to be eligible to receive Upgrades from the new character.

Adding upgrade bonuses to weapons or armor functions essentially similar to adding magical bonuses to weapons, the difference being that the cost is paid with experience rather than gold. In order to add a bonus to a weapon or armor, a character must have the requisite Upgrade Points available to spend. Unused Upgrade Points may be carried over from level to level, but can only be spent during a level-up. Once allocated, these upgrades can be removed at another level-up period, but they only return half of the points used to create them to their owner’s point pool. The exception to this rule is that if an upgrade is superseding a lower-power version of the same ability (eg. upgrading from flaming to flaming burst), the upgrade cost is a number of levels lower according to the bonus of the superseded power. For example: upgrading from flaming (+1 bonus) to flaming burst (+2 bonus) would only cost as many points as an increase in one total bonus level.  Or, upgrading from Acid Resistance (+4 bonus) to Acid Resistance, Greater (+8 bonus) would only cost as many points as going up 4 levels in power.

Only one upgrade may be applied/removed per item per level. If a character has sufficient points to add upgrades to more than one item, he may do so during the same level-up process. To add a special ability that would increase the total bonus of the weapon or armor by more than one, the upgrade points for both levels must be spent. E.g. if a +1 Longsword were to have Flaming Burst added to it (a +2 equivalent bonus) it’s wielder would have to spend 16 points (6 for +2 total, and another 10 for +3 total bonus). Weapons or armor may not have more than a +10 total bonus until their wielder reaches 21st level, and they may not have more than +5 in simple enhancement bonuses until 21st level.

Weapon upgrade point costs:

Weapon Upgrades Armor Upgrades
Total Bonus Point Cost Total Bonus Point Cost
+1 2 +1 1
+2 6 +2 3
+3 10 +3 5
+4 14 +4 7
+5 18 +5 9
+6 22 +6 11
+7 26 +7 13
+8 30 +8 15
+9 34 +9 17
+10 38 +10 19

Special ability tables:

Weapon Special Abilities
Cost Description Key Event Omen Notes
+1 Bane – deadly against certain foes Must deal 80 points of damage to creatures of the particular subtype Glows when creatures of the appropriate type are within 60 ft
+1 Defending – transfer weapon bonus to AC Must have parried 10 attacks (extra bonus from fighting defensively used) Faint shield appears to wielder only Melee weapons only
+1 Distance – doubles range increment Must have dealt 20 points of damage to an enemy at least two range increments away Weapon hums slightly when fully readied to fire/throw Ranged weapons only
+1 Flaming – deals fire damage Must have been used to inflict or channel 15 points of fire damage or used to slay a monster of fire subtype Sounds of fire crackling when wielded
+1 Frost – deal cold damage Must have been used to inflict or channel 15 points of cold damage, or used to slay a monster of cold subtype Handle always cool to the touch
+1 Returning Must have dealt 80 points of damage with thrown attacks Returns per description Thrown weapons only
+1 Shock – deal electricity damage Must have been used to inflict or channel 15 points of electricity damage, or used to slay a monster that deals electricity damage Sound of thunder when opponent struck
+1 Seeking Must have dealt 20 points of damage to enemies with cover Wielder’s vision focuses on target when readied to fire/throw Ranged weapons only
+1 Ghost Touch – deals normal damage to incorporeal creatures Must have dealt 20 points of damage to incorporeal creature Weapon appears slightly transparent to wielder
+1 Keen – double threat range of weapon Must have dealt 3 critical hits in one day, or seven in one week Blade edge becomes difficult to look at
+1 Merciful – weapon deals extra nonlethal damage Must have been used to deal 50 points of subdual damage sharp edges appear rounded, blunt surfaces feel softer
+1 Mighty Cleaving – extra cleave per round Must have been used to make 3 cleaves in a day, or 7 in one week Weapon appears slightly tarnished by bloodstains
+1 Throwing – may be thown without penalty Must have dealt 20 points of damage from throwing Weapon hums slightly when waved about or thrown Melee weapon only
+1 Thundering – deals sonic damage on crit Must have dealt killing blow to a monster during a thunderstorm Thunders loudly on critical hit
+1 Vicious – deals extra damage to opponent and wielder Must have dealt 20 points of damage to its wielder (through fumbles or self-inflicted) Weapon glows dark when held Melee weapons only
+2 Anarchic Hero must be of Chaotic alignment and weapon must have dealt 80 points of damage to lawful creatures, or used to deal killing blow to lawful outsider. Weapon covered in faintly glowing random swirls and lines that appear to shift when observed
+2 Axiomatic Hero must be of Lawful alignment and weapon must have dealt 80 points of damage to chaotic creatures, or used to deal killing blow to chaotic outsider Weapon is covered in mathematically regular pattern
+2 Disruption Hero must be of non-evil alignment and weapon must have dealt 80 points of damage to undead creatures Weapon glows with pure white light that shines as a torch. Will save DC increases by +1 for every two levels weapon is kept elegible for upgrades.
+2 Flaming Burst Weapon must have been used to deal 80 points of fire damage, or dealt lethal critical hit to creature with fire subtype Blade or head of weapon is wreathed in flame when wielded Upgrade only costs +1 bonus when replacing Flaming ability
+2 Icy Burst Weapon must have been used to deal 80 points of cold damage, or dealt lethal critical hit to creature with cold subtype Blade or head of weapon is wreathed in frost when wielded Upgrade only costs +1 bonus when replacing Frost ability
+2 Holy Hero must be of Good alignment. Weapon must have dealt 80 points of damage to evil outsiders, or be used in completion of divine quest. Weapon prominently displays holy symbol of patron diety of Hero
+2 Shocking Burst Weapon must have been used to deal 80 points of electricity damage, or dealt lethal critical hit to creature that deals electricity damage Blade or head of weapon is wreathed in arcing electricity when wielded Upgrade only costs +1 bonus when replacing Shock ability
+2 Unholy Hero must be of Evil alignment. Weapon must have dealt 80 points of damage to good outsiders, or be used in completion of 10 sacrificial rituals. Weapon prominently displays unholy symbol of patron diety of Hero
+2 Wounding Weapon must have severed 10 limbs, or be used to slay a vampire or other energy draining monster. Weapon appears caked in dried blood
+3 Speed Weapon must have made 6 successful attacks in 3 rounds Weapon feel ligher than it appears it should
+4 Brilliant Energy Weapon must have slain a creature of the air subtype As the ability description
+4 Dancing Weapon must have dealt 30 points of damage while unattended Weapon seems to try to leap from it’s wielder’s hand
+5 Vorpal Weapon must have removed 10 heads from enemies Weapon turns black with a shining silver edge when wielded
Armor Special Abilities
Bonus Description Key Event Omen Notes
+1 Glamered Must have spent 24 hours disguised Appears as normal clothing
+1 Fortification, Light Must have been subjected to 3 critical hits Armor is decorated with a tower motif May also be applied to shields
+2 Slick Must have been submerged in an oily substance for 24 hours or worn while escaping from bonds 3 times Armor feels as though it has a film of oil on at all times
+2 Shadow Must have hidden in successfully from 10 enemies Armor is black and blurred at the edges
+2 Silent Moves Must have moved silently past 10 enemies Edges of this armor feel soft and padded, but do not look so
+2 Spell Resistance (13) Must have been subjected to 13 levels of offensive spells Armor glows and shimmers faintly in very dark environs May also be applied to shields
+3 Ghost Touch Must have been worn while fighting 3 incorporeal enemies Armor appears translucent May also be applied to shields
+3 Invulnerability Must have blocked 40 attacks Armor appears thicker than usual and has a stonelike feel to its surface
+3 Fortification, Moderate Must have been subject to 9 critical hits Armor is decorated with a tower and wall motif May also be applied to shields
+3 Spell Resistance (15) Must have been subjected to 27 levels of offensive spells Armor glows and shimmers faintly in dark environs, shines briefly when a spell is resisted May also be applied to shields
+3 Wild Must have been worn while in an alternate form Bears image of alternate form most often used by Hero May also be applied to shields
+4 Slick, Improved Must have been submerged in an oily substance for 48 hours or worn while escaping from bonds 6 times As Slick Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+4 Shadow, Improved Must have successfully hidden from 20 enemies As Shadow Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+4 Silent Moves, Improved Must have moved silently past 20 enemies As Silent Moves Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+4 Acid Resistance Must have been subjected to 20 points of acid damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields
+4 Cold Resistance Must have been subjected to 20 points of Cold damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields
+4 Electricity Resistance Must have been subjected to 20 points of Electricity damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields
+4 Fire Resistance Must have been subjected to 20 points of Fire damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields
+4 Sonic Resistance Must have been subjected to 20 points of Sonic damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields
+4 Spell Resistance (17) Must have been subjected to 44 levels of offensive spells Armor glows and shimmers faintly in shadowy environs, shines briefly when a spell is resisted May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+5 Fortification, Heavy Must have been subject to 27 critical hits Translucent armor plates appear to wearer May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+5 Spell Resistance (19) Must have been subjected to 63 levels of offensive spells Armor glows and shimmers faintly in shadowy environs, shines for 1 round when a spell is resisted May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Slick, Greater Must have been submerged in an oily substance for 72 hours or worn while escaping from bonds 9 times As Slick Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Shadow, Greater Must have successfully hidden from 30 enemies As Shadow Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Silent Moves, Greater Must have moved silently past 30 enemies As Silent Moves Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Acid Resistance, Improved Must have been subjected to 40 points of Acid damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Cold Resistance, Improved Must have been subjected to 40 points of Cold damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Electricity Resistance, Improved Must have been subjected to 40 points of Electricity damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Fire Resistance, Improved Must have been subjected to 40 points of Fire damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+6 Sonic Resistance, Improved Must have been subjected to 40 points of Sonic damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+7 Etheralness Must have spent 8 hours on the Etheral Plane Armor is covered in faint etchings reminiscent of spiderwebs
+7 Undead Controlling Wearer must have rebuked 26 HD of undead while wearing the armor Armor is decorated in a death’s head motif May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+8 Acid Resistance, Greater Must have been subjected to 80 points of Acid damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+8 Cold Resistance, Greater Must have been subjected to 80 points of Cold damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+8 Electricity Resistance, Greater Must have been subjected to 80 points of Electricity damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+8 Fire Resistance, Greater Must have been subjected to 80 points of Fire damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
+8 Sonic Resistance, Greater Must have been subjected to 80 points of Sonic damage Per ability description May also be applied to shields, Reduce upgrade bonus by previous bonus when upgrading from lesser version
Shield Special Abilities
+1 Arrow Catching Shield must have protected its bearer from 20 ranged attacks Shield engraved with concentric circles (similar to a bullseye)
+1 Bashing Shield must have been used to deal 20 points of damage Shield appears to have a hammered finish
+1 Blinding Shield must have been subjected to 5 ray attacks Shield is decorated with a lighthouse or lantern
+2 Arrow Deflection Shield must have protected its bearer from 60 ranged attacks Shield is decorated in a tortise shell motif
+2 Animated Shield must have exposed to magical levitation/manipulation for 8 total hours Shield seems to try to jump out of the hand of it’s wielder
+3 Wild Shield must have been wielded while in an alternate form Shield emblazoned with owner’s favored alternate form
+5 Reflecting Shield must have been subjected to 3 gaze attacks or 60 levels of spells Per ability description
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Big Things Coming

I’ve been away a while, yes.  But I’m currently working on a few things that will be published here over the next couple of weeks. First up, something I like to call Heroic Weapons, then some comprehensive encounter tables, weather tables based on the Köppen climatic classifications, and a few other thing I’m preparing for a campaign I’m hoping to run in the near(ish) future (with all the hubbub about 5e, I should probably note that all of this will be for 3.5e as that is the system I am familiar with and own books for).

Stay tuned!

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