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View Full Version : [3.x] Arcane Mark Arrows



Mark Hall
2010-05-31, 10:48 PM
The thread on how a guild might catch a wrong-doer triggered a random idea... an arrow that, when it hits with a touch attack, puts an arcane mark (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/arcaneMark.htm), to make him easier to scry upon later (or, even to develop a specialized teleportation spell to call back).

I want to know how you would value such an item.

drengnikrafe
2010-05-31, 11:02 PM
So, it's like you took a potion of arcane mark (if you can make those. I've never been totally sure about those potion-making rules) and replaced an arrowhead with it? It sounds like something that would have the cost of a potion, maybe a little more. 25-30 gp. But what do I know?

Reluctance
2010-05-31, 11:17 PM
If they can see the guy, they don't need an arrow to specially mark him. And an arrow that works on a touch attack strikes me as silly.

I'd probably say that the mechanical effect is that whoever gets marked takes a -5 or -10 to saves vs. being scryed against by guild mages, and price the arrows as penalty squared times ten G.P. I figure that by the time somebody needs more of a warning than your friendly neighborhood legbreakers stopping by, 250 to 1,000 sounds about right.

Eldariel
2010-06-01, 07:14 AM
If they can see the guy, they don't need an arrow to specially mark him. And an arrow that works on a touch attack strikes me as silly.

I'd probably say that the mechanical effect is that whoever gets marked takes a -5 or -10 to saves vs. being scryed against by guild mages, and price the arrows as penalty squared times ten G.P. I figure that by the time somebody needs more of a warning than your friendly neighborhood legbreakers stopping by, 250 to 1,000 sounds about right.

That's a wee bit high; 250gp = 12500gp on a permanent weapon. 1000gp = 50000gp; I don't think it's worth quite that much. I'd consider simple penalty squared, leaving the times 10 to weapons that can be used more than once.

Prodan
2010-06-01, 07:15 AM
Spell Storing Arrow with Arcane Mark stored inside it.

panaikhan
2010-06-01, 07:32 AM
The 'potion' rules can be used to make any universal 'use-to-activate' one-shot item. Instead of drinking, the character breaks the prepared item (useful for creatures that don't eat/drink).

One of my Artificers made Fireball grenades out of small clay pots, so I see no problem with the Arcane Mark arrows. They still go off if you miss though, so you could be scrying a wall or rock or whatever...

lsfreak
2010-06-01, 12:46 PM
The 'potion' rules can be used to make any universal 'use-to-activate' one-shot item. Instead of drinking, the character breaks the prepared item (useful for creatures that don't eat/drink).

One of my Artificers made Fireball grenades out of small clay pots, so I see no problem with the Arcane Mark arrows. They still go off if you miss though, so you could be scrying a wall or rock or whatever...

Forth noting that Fireball is not qualified to be a potion in the first place :smalltongue: Nor, I believe, is Arcane Mark, since it doesn't target a creature (or an item). Same with Spell Storing arrows, which RAW aren't even legal I don't think.

I'd probably allow it in a spell-storing arrow anywho, at 160gp. Altered slightly so that it does nonlethal damage and requires only a touch attack, to fit your requirement.

Cieyrin
2010-06-01, 01:00 PM
Altered slightly so that it does nonlethal damage and requires only a touch attack, to fit your requirement.

Just use blunt arrows (RotW 163)?

Dr Bwaa
2010-06-01, 01:12 PM
I would adjudicate this a little differently. You want a normal bow and arrow, that when it hits someone, it casts a spell. That is, when a certain condition is met, a certain spell effect is triggered. That sounds like a trap (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/traps.htm#magicTraps) to me. That would place the cost of the Arcane Mark trap on the arrowhead at 25gp (= 50gp x caster level 1 x spell level 0.5). An automatic-reset bow that bestows the Arcane Mark trap on its arrows would be 250-750gp, depending on whether you think it needs to bestow the Alarm to trigger it, or just the Arcane Mark itself. Not bad at all.

Siosilvar
2010-06-01, 01:32 PM
If it's a touch attack, you'll be scrying the guy's armor or shield. Useful, unless your perpetrator happens to know you use these, and brought disposable armor.

And if you're trying to break into a guild (of any sort), wouldn't you want as much foreknowledge as possible?

Although armor can get expensive, especially if you're minimizing armor check. Though leather armor and a darkwood heavy shield is +4 AC for only 267gp. Definitely not as good as your regular armor, but cheap and easy to get rid of if your armor/shield gets arcane marked. Reusable, too, if you dump it and come back with a wand of dispel magic to get rid of the mark.

YPU
2010-06-01, 03:44 PM
If it's a touch attack, you'll be scrying the guy's armor or shield. Useful, unless your perpetrator happens to know you use these, and brought disposable armor.

And if you're trying to break into a guild (of any sort), wouldn't you want as much foreknowledge as possible?

Although armor can get expensive, especially if you're minimizing armor check. Though leather armor and a darkwood heavy shield is +4 AC for only 267gp. Definitely not as good as your regular armor, but cheap and easy to get rid of if your armor/shield gets arcane marked. Reusable, too, if you dump it and come back with a wand of dispel magic to get rid of the mark.

Unless you wear some sort of robe, poncho or disguise that covers your armor anyway. Bonus points for having the guild tracking you find the clothes while placing themselves in a compromising situation. (the bedroom of the governors daughter? my my)

Mark Hall
2010-06-01, 05:32 PM
Part of this would be making it a touch attack that would affect the person, not necessarily their armor. As for why you need an arrow if you can see him... well, you don't always have a wizard on-site with the spell you want. You can, however, have a bunch of warriors, each with their relatively expensive arrow, making it easier for the wizards to do their job.

Greenish
2010-06-01, 05:38 PM
Part of this would be making it a touch attack that would affect the person, not necessarily their armor. As for why you need an arrow if you can see him... well, you don't always have a wizard on-site with the spell you want. You can, however, have a bunch of warriors, each with their relatively expensive arrow, making it easier for the wizards to do their job.Brilliant Energy bows with the trap outlined above. Those are rather expensive though.

[Edit]: You could build a "trap" that's basically a gun: touch trigger, automatic reset, shoots Arcane Marks at the target.

The Cat Goddess
2010-06-01, 05:56 PM
Brilliant Energy bows with the trap outlined above. Those are rather expensive though.

[Edit]: You could build a "trap" that's basically a gun: touch trigger, automatic reset, shoots Arcane Marks at the target.

Brilliant Energy Bow would be better...

Of course, a Warforged would ignore it. :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2010-06-01, 05:58 PM
Brilliant Energy Bow would be better...If there'll be NPC warriors whose only job is to make tracking PCs easier, equipping them with +5 weapons seems a bit overkill. Might even backfire on you once the PCs notice and decide to kill and loot them :smalltongue:

Draz74
2010-06-01, 07:18 PM
Spell-Storing Arrows aren't legal, but they're a pretty good baseline. If they existed, they would be 40 gp each. That's pretty reasonable for an Arcane Mark Arrow, I'd say. The fact that it's actually pretty useful to tag someone with a spell via bow is balanced out by the fact that it only works with one specific cantrip.

Would anyone be able to use this, or only someone who is casting Arcane Mark themselves?

Cieyrin
2010-06-02, 11:25 AM
Spell-Storing Arrows aren't legal, but they're a pretty good baseline. If they existed, they would be 40 gp each. That's pretty reasonable for an Arcane Mark Arrow, I'd say. The fact that it's actually pretty useful to tag someone with a spell via bow is balanced out by the fact that it only works with one specific cantrip.

Would anyone be able to use this, or only someone who is casting Arcane Mark themselves?

Why wouldn't anybody be able to use it? Is a barbarian unable to use a +2 greataxe because he isn't able to cast Greater Magic Weapon? The magic is already worked in the arrow, it just needs to be activated through use at this point.

Riffington
2010-06-02, 04:15 PM
50gp would be reasonable for such an arcane mark arrow.
However, you do not want to start allowing spellstoring arrows in general. The thing about enchanted arrows is that each one hits an enemy once, when an ordinary melee weapon would hit that enemy multiple times with whatever enchantment it has. So it's totally reasonable to make shocking arrows 1/50 the cost of regular arrows. But spellstoring hits an enemy only once and then is discharged; arrows not only get around that problem (there's multiples of them) but even let you use the spell multiple times a round.