View Full Version : Looking for help with balanced WMD artifacts

2009-04-16, 10:22 PM
Alright. I'm running a Forgotten Realms campaign, and I am intending to hit my players with Elder Evils, from the book of the same name. One catch; all nine provided by the book at once. My thoughts on the final showdown would be on the moon Atropus (one of the evils) while fighting all the aspects, Kyuss, Pandorym (mind shard only), Zargon, Ragnorra, and the hulks of Zoretha at once. I'm not asking for help with statting this insanely complex battle.

I intend to create a set of nine artifacts (number is significant for other plot reasons, not elder evils) to aid the PCs in fighting this like crazy. I know absolutely nothing about making a remotely balanced artifact, and have come begging for help. Go as wild and crazy as you wish, make a competition of it or something. Idea-wise, that is. I want them to be at least kinda balanced. Also, anything that is mentioned in the Forgotten Realms is nice, since i don't really know of any lost artifacts in the setting. The only ideas I have so far is using the gem Calimmemnon, which created the desert of Calimshan and bound up the Djinn Calim and the efreet Memnon. My other idea is a staff that gives access to an Epic teleportation power that could overcome even Pandorym's overwhelming sign. The epic teleport would not function as V's does in the recent OotS's.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time and effort to go wild and crazy with ideas. I'm asking for help due to the expertise of the forums, and so that the items aren't all very the same (beyond having a history in the FR campaign setting, of course). And that was, of course, complete suck up.

2009-04-16, 10:35 PM
... How are they going to survive on Atropus with all the magic being sucked away? Hello negative levels + suffocation.

I also hope you're going to get them up to epic levels first. >>

Anyways, barring that... Ok. Uhm. Artifact.

How about a...

Let's think...

Nope, I got nothing.

2009-04-17, 04:46 PM
Yea, I'm gonna assume atropus has an atmosphere of some kind, 'cause trying to account for that would just make it even more insane, while fighting off all the elder evils. Also, all magic is not sucked away, merely divine, and not absolutely, just requires some checks and whatnot. Pardon me if I'm wrong, because I don't have the book in front of me at the moment.

So far, I have the Calimemnon Gem, with my own stats:
1/day, summon Calim, a Djinn Sorcerer; Summon Memnon, a fighter/Blackguard Efreet;
3/day - Meteor Swarm; requires a DC 30 spellcraft check; Charm Monster; requires a DC 25 spellcraft check;
At will - Scorching Ray; Control Weather (Desert Effects only);

The PCs will, obviously, be reaching epic levels, because fighting even one elder evil can be catastrophic under level 20. Also, I want to find stats/info for the Nether Scrolls, but I haven't seen it in Magic of Faerun. Is it in some other book? If so, where? Thanks.

2009-04-18, 05:45 PM
I know absolutely nothing about making a remotely balanced artifact, and have come begging for help.

If it was remotely balanced, it wouldn't be an artifact.

You have a problem thinking of what the artifacts do. You have a problem with the battleground not having atmosphere. You can solve both of these problems at once. (well it's only one artifact, but you get the idea.) Of course, it seems weird to have an artifact that's just a glorified bottle of air, so you could make it so that that's just a mundane utility (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MundaneUtility) of it. For example, make it so it can cast a more powerful version of gust of wind at will, and maybe also deal sonic damage. You can just keep it on full blast during the time on that moon, so it creates air as fast as it disperses.

2009-04-18, 07:54 PM
Hm.. good idea. Thanks. Yeah, what a meant by "remotely balanced artifact" was that I didn't want anyone to come in with an artifact that either A) turned someone into Ao, or B) was a "you win against everything" artifact or C) was directly aimed at elder evils (i.e. if the xxx function is used against yyy [an elder evil], then the yyy automatically implodes and destroys itself) I just had a hunch some wise aleck would do that.

2009-04-18, 08:08 PM
There is the problem of getting your players to realize that they can use the Staff of Air to make their own atmosphere. You could just tell one of the players beforehand and have them pretend it was their idea. Also, make it look like you had something else planned.

You could also make that one of four elemental weapons. Make that the Staff of Air, make the Staff of Water work like the Decanter of Endless Water, but without recoil and way more powerful, make the Staff of Fire shoot a 20-foot jet of flame, and make the Staff of Earth shoot boulders.

2009-04-18, 08:24 PM
'Shoot' stuff?

Come now, these are artifacts! They can be creative.

Sure, there's not much you can do with fire. It either burninates, or it REALLY burninates. Cauterization? Purge some undead in a showy fashion? Not sure. But wait, he already has the fire gem thingy.

But water? The bringer of life, the substance that let people transport and trade large loads and blah blah blah? It can be a very support-esque role. Why does it have to be a staff, anyways? If the air is a bottle, and the fire is a gem, then this could be, say... a shimmering glove. Or whatever.

And earth? Why does it have to shoot boulders? Why can't it let you stand as firm as the ground itself, let you rock the foundat- ok, Atropos is why it can't do the whole earthquake shindig too readily, but still. It'd be pretty awesome to use Earthquake or something to smother some other elder evil with Atropos. Admit it.

Anyways, that opinion out of the way, some random ideas for you to drum up:

A hammer that hits things harder not by actually hitting things hard, but by making whatever it hits not-so-hard. Would you rather punch the Governator back when he was Conan or... well, the Terminator, or would you rather punch him now? That kind of philosophy.

A robe that has its own pocket dimension, and the robe's made of air? So you'll get a wizard or whatnot floating around with just his head (or face if it has a hood), hands, and legs. Tell me that WOULDN'T be bloody tricky to fight.

Ok, so you know the old 'positive energy makes stuff asplode at x2' philosophy? Let's say... a mace. So the cleric can use it. That does that. Works great on undead, too.

A bow that shoots elementals that then fight the target for a short duration. Hurray for mini-swarms!

An expendable coin artifact that an NPC wants. If you flip it and get Tymora (or equivalent) your soul is greatly enhanced (hurray for ++special abilities or something). If you flip it and get Beshaba (or equivalent) you take something nasty, like a permanent uncurable level drain or something (so the PC is hesitant to use it). And if it lands on its side... nothing.

And does it have to be all at once? I mean, one of them is a corrupted-positive-energy-thingummy and Atropos is a terrible-negative-energy-thingummy. Why not find some way to collide the two and cancel the weaker out? Or greatly weaken them both simultaneously...

2009-04-18, 09:31 PM
Also, I want to find stats/info for the Nether Scrolls, but I haven't seen it in Magic of Faerun. Is it in some other book? If so, where? Thanks.

This (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Nether_Scrolls), this (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Quess_Ar_Teranthvar), and this (http://seankreynoldsboards.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/1574) have some info; the actual stats are in Lost Empires of Faerun.
Also, this is rather insanely epic, even by Forgotten Realms standards. Are any of the Realms's assorted high-level wizards helping out? Or is that little pansy Elminster cowering in his hole?

2009-04-20, 10:29 PM
Thank you to Surly Seraph for the aid in info on the Nether Scrolls. Isn't it kinda funny that it is yet another potentially easily broken tool courtesy of the Sarrukhs? Hm... I think I smell a WotC conspiracy. I really like the idea of a staff that launches elementals along with its attacks. Maybe I could make it function as the reserve feat that lets you summon infinite small elementals (ish), except that when you cast a spell from the staff that has the x factor, then the elemental also appears. I'm not so sure anymore that I want to let my players have an artifact of such tricks as the Nether Scrolls, cause I have a player that already intends to play a Focus Specialist (either conjuration or abjuration) Wizard/incantatrix. Give him the scrolls, and everything is screwed up.

I might combine the uber bottle of air with the uber decanter of endless water, add a fire and earth effect, and call it the DECANTER OF BOTTLED AMAZINGNESS! Like it? Might provide for some interesting effects. I'm kinda iffy with decanters of endless water though, because the last time I gave my group one, they tried to make a volcano explode with it... and succeeded. obviously not FR. So yeah, anyone else have any ideas for artifacts with histories in the realms that I might not know of?