View Full Version : [4e] Intelligent Items Ego PEACH

Crabs Magee
2008-12-29, 06:26 AM
So in 3.X an intelligent item could possess you. This trait vanished in 4e, much to my dismay. So I decided to come up with a quick method for determining an item's ego and their possession.

When making an intelligent item, roll some dice. Once per encounter (5 minutes) the Weapon can make an attack against its wielderís will. This attack is Ego value (+ a d20 roll, obviously) vs. Will. An item can only
attempt a possession while being wielded, unless otherwise noted.

Here is the die to roll for the Ego value.
For levels 1-10: d8+1 Ego
For levels 11-15: d10+2 Ego
For levels 16-21: d12+2 Ego
For levels 21+: d20+3 Ego.

All intelligent items have a Will equal to double their Ego.
When an item takes control, it remains in control for as long as it once too, or until the character can break free of the itemís control, which is .5 X Will (+ a d20) vs. Itemís Will.

Hereís a sample intelligent item.

Varin the Cynic
Weapon: Shortsword
Communication: Speech
Persona: Varin is a very pessimistic, cynical person. He was a sorcerer, and a mediocre one at best. In life, he was a very happy-go-lucky person who was very optimistic. When he tried to perform a ritual that would bind and item to him, he accidently made a mistake in the ritualís layout. Thus, when he woke up, he saw his body lying on the floor, lifeless, and he was trapped in his shortsword. Years of boredom has made him world-weary and cynical. However, his curiosity is ever-present.
Ego/Will: 9/18. Varin wasnít a very good sorcerer, but he was very smart and could have probably learned a few psionic traits, had he tried.
Possesion: Usually, Varin doesnít care about anything much. If, however, he becomes very curious about something (usually along the lines of magic rituals, dusty old tomes, strange magical artifacts, et cetera) he may attempt to trick the PC into holding him closer. During this, he will attempt to take them over. Once possessing them, he will do everything in his power to examine whatever it is sparked his interest. Then, he will give possession back to the PC.
Varin also hates Minotaurs, for whatever reason (DM can come up with a reason) and also has a general dislike/distrust for Warlocks. He may try to possess a character while the PC is fighting one of these two things.
Magical Properties: Varin can choose to emit a bright light, similar to the cantrip Light. He can change the color of the light, and does so frequently when very bored. The light does not shine through his sheath.
Appearance: Varin appears to be a simple shortsword adorned with small diamonds on the hilt and one large one at the base of the pommel. If one looks into the diamonds for more than a few seconds, he gets the feeling someone is staring at them. Varin sees through these diamonds, and as long is one is uncovered, he can see (Normal vision).


EDIT: Considering it's 5 AM and my insomnia is kickin' in, there are probably a few errors in here. Please ignore them.

Mercenary Pen
2008-12-29, 08:50 AM
This feels more like a wizard than a Sorcerer trapped in the item...

Also, what advantages does this give you that aren't better provided by making it a Heroic or Paragon-tier artifact?

You might have a look at artifacts such as the Hand and Eye of Vecna for examples of mechanical effects from 'possession/domination' by an item/artifact...

If you have Dragon #368, you might check out the artifacts in one of the articles there... particularly the 'Helm of the Madman's Blood' might prove useful...

2008-12-29, 11:39 AM
Yeah, there are items like this, especially in the Dragon magazines.

Crabs Magee
2008-12-29, 05:19 PM
Yeah I saw those artifacts in Dragon. But that kind of stuff, especially the Helm of Madman's Blood, is really disapointing as far as possession goes. In 3e, all intelligent items have an Ego and can possess a character. I was looking for something like that

2008-12-29, 06:07 PM
As written, these ego attacks will almost always fail at any reasonable level.

You aren't scaling modifiers to d20 rolls at all correctly. Doubling or halving a modifier to a d20 roll doesn't generate a good effect that scales correctly with level.

At level 25ish, for a "decent" chance to hit will defense, you need a +27 to hit. A weapon with that much ego would have a 54 will defense, and no player could manage to "hit" that with half of their own will.


I'd do something like:
A typical level X magic item has the following mental stats:
Will Defense: 12+Level
Ego Points Max: 1+Cha Bonus
Mastery Points Max: 5+2*Level (per-user)
Mastery Point Gain: 1d6 Heroic, 2d6 Paragon, 3d6 Epic, plus Wis modifier.
Control: +2+Level (vs Will)
Attack: +2+Level (vs non-AC), or +4+Level (vs AC)

Mental Stats:
18+(Level/2) for highest
14+(Level/2) for medium
10+(Level/2) for lowest

Compare your Int to (14+Level/2). For every 2 higher or lower than this value, gain a +1 or -1 modifier to your Control stat.

Compare your Wisdom to (14+Level/2). For every 2 higher or lower than this value, gain a +1 or -1 modifier to your Will defense and Mastery Points Max.


Intelligent Weapons gain Ego points by furthering their own purposes via their users. The Weapon gains 1 Ego point from a combat encounter or skill challenge that advances it's goals, or other similar mechanism. Ie, a Weapon that hates Gnolls would gain 1 Ego point every time the user kills a Gnoll or set of Gnolls in a combat encounter, or otherwise set back or harmed Gnolls.

An Intelligent Weapon can seek to influence the player's action. This requires 1 Ego point. Make a Control attack against the player's will defense. On success, the player does that one action, the weapon gains Mastery Points over that user.

Every day that the user uses the special power of the weapon at the user's request, the weapon gains 1 Mastery Point over the user. If the use of the power was critical to the user's success, gain a full roll of Mastery Points instead. If the use of power was aimed at the Weapon's goals as well, gain an Ego point. The weapon can also choose to refuse to let the user use the special power of the weapon: in that case, the user can force it via a (Charisma) vs (Will) attack on the weapon. On success, the power is used. On failure, the weapon gains an ego point.

If a user attempts to discard or give away an Intelligent Weapon, and the Intelligent Weapon has at least one Mastery Point, the user must make a Wisdom vs Will attack with a penalty to the user equal half the number of Mastery points (round down) the weapon has towards the user. On failure, the weapon gains an Ego point, and the player cannot willingly give up the weapon for another day. On success, the weapon loses half their master points towards that user, and the player manages to give up the weapon.

An Intelligent Weapon may choose to accept being given away. This costs it one Mastery point over the user. The user can talk to the weapon and get this agreement before hand (and an immediate change of mind doesn't count)

An Intelligent Weapon can seek to possess a user. This requires that the Weapon consume one Mastery point per level of the user, plus 3 Ego Points. Make a Control vs Will attack on the user. On success, the user is possessed (see below).

The user may attempt to break free of the weapon. This may be done for free after a single encounter, and again every 24 hours. It may also be done in the weapon attempts an action that is against the ethos of the wielder at the cost of a Healing Surge or an Action Point.

A breaking free attack is (User's Wisdom) vs (10+weapon's mastery points over the user). A failure gives the weapon one mastery point.

When possessed, the Weapon may use at-will and per-encounter powers of the possessed being. If the Weapon wants to use a healing surge, a daily power, or an action point, the Weapon must consume an Ego point. The user can then choose to attempt to accept it, or refuse. If the user refuses, the Weapon can write off the Ego point, or force it: the user then attempts to break free. In any case, the attempt costs the weapon one Ego point.

Every day a user is possessed, it costs the Weapon one Mastery Point over that user, and one Ego point.

If the user loses the possession of the Weapon, the Weapon retains possession, but it loses 1 Mastery Point per round over the user. Weapons may not possess more than 1 person at once.

Weapons may freely return control to the user. This gives the Weapon half the character's level, rounded up, in Mastery points towards that user.

When a Weapon is not in a users possession in the general case, the Weapon loses 1 Mastery point per day over that user.