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Zaq
2010-06-29, 08:55 PM
So, the Dwarven Buckler-Axe, an exotic weapon from Races of Stone, doesn't get a lot of attention, and for good reason. It's pretty dumb. (Moderately funny if you imagine that it was created by a dwarf yelling "THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE! HERE, I'LL SHOW YOU!" and strapping a huge axe head to his arm, but still dumb.) It's not really worth the feat, since it doesn't do much that a spiked shield doesn't.

However, what happens when we add the Soulbound enchantment (from Magic of Incarnum) to it? Go ahead and add it twice (once for the shield version, and once for the weapon version), of course, but since the DBA specifically says it can be enchanted as both a shield and a weapon, this isn't really an issue. What happens, then, when we invest essentia in it? Do we get to double-dip? The essentia is invested in the shield, and it doesn't say that it has a "Soulbound shield slot" and a "Soulbound weapon slot" that your essentia has to choose between. It's just in the item. (This could also theoretically be bound to chakras, since Soulbound items have specific chakra bind options.)

This gets even more interesting when this particular Soulbound≤ DBA was forged by an Ironsoul Forgemaster. One of a high enough level to have both the Weapon Bond and Shield Bond class features. Once again, it says that the essentia is invested "in the shield" or "in the weapon," as though it were a soulmeld. Does this, in any regard, change the way we must invest essentia into it? The essentia is just going into the DBA. There's nothing to indicate that the DBA is any different when you're investing essentia in it for your weapon bond feature or for one of the two Soulbound powers or for the shield bond feature. It looks to me like we could invest essentia in this DBA and get four separate bonuses out of it... and why shouldn't we, if we're investing a lot of money in buying specific enchantments, burning a feat to use a silly weapon, and devoting a minimum of nine class levels to being an Ironsoul Forgemaster?

I'd like someone else's opinion on this, though. Does this work? Should it work? Assuming it does work, can we do anything fun with it?

Flickerdart
2010-06-29, 09:32 PM
Does the Soubound enchantment's benefit stack with the Bonds? If so, then there's no reason you can't quadruple your returns on essentia.

Zaq
2010-06-29, 09:34 PM
Does the Soubound enchantment's benefit stack with the Bonds? If so, then there's no reason you can't quadruple your returns on essentia.

Yup, they're different types of bonuses. In fact, there's only one (Soulbound Weapon / Weapon Bond) that even does the same thing (+ damage, among other things).

Gametime
2010-06-29, 10:51 PM
Based purely on the rules involved, I can't see why it wouldn't work.

I'd strongly advise investing in some sort of sunder-protection, though, since dumping all your eggssentia (rimshot!) into one basket is just begging for it to get smashed.

gallagher
2010-06-30, 12:22 AM
Based purely on the rules involved, I can't see why it wouldn't work.

I'd strongly advise investing in some sort of sunder-protection, though, since dumping all your eggssentia (rimshot!) into one basket is just begging for it to get smashed.
can shields get sundered? i know that armor cant. shields themselves may be, but bucklers themselves might be a different story, based on that they are practiaclly armor on your wrist, and as i recall you cant sunder armor because it is directly on the body

Keld Denar
2010-06-30, 12:41 AM
Shields can be sundered. Check the sunder rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#sunder).

Unfortunately, looking at it like a double weapon, you would have to invest essentia into one aspect or the other. You could do both, but then you'd have to invest twice as much essentia. Same thing with Soulbond. If you had a double weapon with Soulbond on either head, you'd have to invest twice as much essentia into it to get the same result twice. Also, Soulbond and Weapon Bond are sperate essentia recepticles even though they are more or less in the same space.

Think of a DBA like any other shield. You can enchant it with defensive enchantments AND offensive enchantments, and it effectively counts as 2 different items more or less glued together.

Sorry, thats how it looks like it falls out.

Gadora
2010-06-30, 12:52 AM
Is there any reason this couldn't be done with a spiked shield?

Eurus
2010-06-30, 01:01 AM
Shields can be sundered. Check the sunder rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#sunder).

Unfortunately, looking at it like a double weapon, you would have to invest essentia into one aspect or the other. You could do both, but then you'd have to invest twice as much essentia. Same thing with Soulbond. If you had a double weapon with Soulbond on either head, you'd have to invest twice as much essentia into it to get the same result twice. Also, Soulbond and Weapon Bond are sperate essentia recepticles even though they are more or less in the same space.

Think of a DBA like any other shield. You can enchant it with defensive enchantments AND offensive enchantments, and it effectively counts as 2 different items more or less glued together.

Sorry, thats how it looks like it falls out.

While probably true, that's also the interpretation that leaves the poor Buckler-Axe completely useless. Please, think of the buckler-axes. :smallbiggrin:

Kantolin
2010-06-30, 01:28 AM
Think of a DBA like any other shield. You can enchant it with defensive enchantments AND offensive enchantments, and it effectively counts as 2 different items more or less glued together.

The trouble there is that in the case of defensive and offensive enchantments, the two don't really interact - giving your shield a +1 to hit and damage has nothing to dow ith a +1 to AC.

But Ironsoul forgemaster says:

This bond allows you to invest essentia in the shield as if it were a soulmeld. Doing so grants you resistance 5 per point of invested essentia against acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic damage.


This bond allows you to invest essentia in the weapon as if it were a soulmeld. Doing so grants you an insight bonus equal to twice the number of points of invested essentia on your damage rolls. If you have at least 1 point of essentia invested in the weapon, it also dazes any living opponent you strike with it for 1 round (Fortitude negates, DC 10 + invested essentia + Con modifier).

Nowhere in there does it say anything about them being two different recepticles. You may plug your Dwarven Buckler-Axe with essentia, when you do you get 5 points against elemental and an insight bonus on damage rolls, and save or daze.

It's then not directly clear about it, but shield bashing is a weapon, and while there's no direct statement one way or another you'd be very cruel to not permit people to use shield-bashing for their primary weapon. By that, it would work with just shield-bashing too.

I'm not sure if that's RAI, though - it seems like RAI is that you'd have to pick offensive or defensive and that they weren't thinking about shield bashing, but that's just heresay. Personally, I'd be all for it since shields can use every bit of oompf they get.

Gametime
2010-06-30, 10:17 AM
The way I see it, the two most rules-adhering interpretations are 1) that each point of essentia counts for each function of the weapon-shield, allowing you to potentially quadruple-dip; or 2) that each point of essentia only yields one of the four potential benefits, but share the same limited capacity (since it is a single item in which you are investing all this essentia).

In terms of RAMS, I think treating the essentia as belonging either to the shield or the weapon makes sense, based on the magic item enhancing precedent, but I can't find anything written to support this. At least you'd still get to double-dip with a soulbound weapon and shield, though.

Zaq
2010-06-30, 10:00 PM
So, I think there's enough support for this for me to convince my GM that it works. The question now, of course, is what do we do with it? I'm tossing an Incarnate 5 / ISFM 10 around in my head, and imagining using the DBA and something else (either my Incarnate Weapon or some kind of reach weapon... pity that Incarnates are only proficient with simples!) to go for kind of a battlefield control thing... but I can't even imagine where all of the feats are coming from (between the shield proficiency, and the whole Combat Reflexes tree, and whatever else I might need... plus TWF if I want to actually use the shield and something else at the same time, not to mention actual Incarnum-based feats, like using Shape Soulmeld to poach from the other lists!), and it seems tricky to get the reach we need (Inhuman Reach is just way too many feats, but...).

I feel like there's a good idea in here. I just have to tease it out. Honestly, since the quadruple-dipping of essentia basically doesn't stack with itself, it seems like a fun trick, but not NEARLY enough on its own at high levels. What else can we do, though? How can we make this more than a curiosity?

Keld Denar
2010-06-30, 10:52 PM
Nowhere in there does it say anything about them being two different recepticles. You may plug your Dwarven Buckler-Axe with essentia, when you do you get 5 points against elemental and an insight bonus on damage rolls, and save or daze.

If an ISFM made his Dwarven Urgrosh his Soul Weapon, and invested essentia into it, would he get the benefit of that essentia for the axe head AND the spike end? The rules are clear on double weapons. They are 2 weapons duct taped together with the rule that one of them is treated as light when you are duel wielding. In nearly all other respects (especially enchanting, which is similar to soulmelding), they are 2 completely different weapons. Heck, they don't even have to be the same material!

Same thing with a shield. The weapon aspect is different from the shield aspect. You enchant them seperately, just like a double weapon. Instead of a weapon duct taped to another weapon, its a weapon duct taped to a shield. Regardless, they are 2 seperate entities in all respects except for the physical. Also, the enchantment would be seperate from the ISFM ability. Each can exist seperately. Its like double chakra binding two soulmelds to the same chakra. They both occupy the same body slot, but you invest essentia into each seperately.

Example: Joe the Totemist is 9th level and has the Double Chakra Bind feat. He also has at least 2 Chakra Bind slots available. He binds Giralon Arms to his Totem Chakra. Then, using the feat, he binds Blink Shirt to his Totem Chakra as well. He now invests essentia. He could invest essentia into the Blink Shirt, or the Giralon Arms, or both, but he doesn't get to count essentia in one as essentia in the other. Essentia is invested into a recepticle, not a body slot or item.

Having a +1Soulbound/+1Soulbound Dwarven Axebuckler as an Ironsoul Forgemaster creates 4 essentia recepticles in one item, just like the above example of having 2 soulmelds bound to the same chakra. They are in the same place, but different.

Sorry, thats just how it looks.

Gametime
2010-06-30, 11:28 PM
If an ISFM made his Dwarven Urgrosh his Soul Weapon, and invested essentia into it, would he get the benefit of that essentia for the axe head AND the spike end? The rules are clear on double weapons. They are 2 weapons duct taped together with the rule that one of them is treated as light when you are duel wielding. In nearly all other respects (especially enchanting, which is similar to soulmelding), they are 2 completely different weapons. Heck, they don't even have to be the same material!

Same thing with a shield. The weapon aspect is different from the shield aspect. You enchant them seperately, just like a double weapon. Instead of a weapon duct taped to another weapon, its a weapon duct taped to a shield. Regardless, they are 2 seperate entities in all respects except for the physical. Also, the enchantment would be seperate from the ISFM ability. Each can exist seperately. Its like double chakra binding two soulmelds to the same chakra. They both occupy the same body slot, but you invest essentia into each seperately.

Example: Joe the Totemist is 9th level and has the Double Chakra Bind feat. He also has at least 2 Chakra Bind slots available. He binds Giralon Arms to his Totem Chakra. Then, using the feat, he binds Blink Shirt to his Totem Chakra as well. He now invests essentia. He could invest essentia into the Blink Shirt, or the Giralon Arms, or both, but he doesn't get to count essentia in one as essentia in the other. Essentia is invested into a recepticle, not a body slot or item.

Having a +1Soulbound/+1Soulbound Dwarven Axebuckler as an Ironsoul Forgemaster creates 4 essentia recepticles in one item, just like the above example of having 2 soulmelds bound to the same chakra. They are in the same place, but different.

Sorry, thats just how it looks.

You invest essentia into a soulmeld, though, not into the chakra slot. I'll agree there's a precedent for the weapon and shield being separate receptacles, but I think double-dipping on the weapon side or the shield side is legitimate. There's really nothing supporting that, other than the language used being the same in both the Forgemaster's abilities and the Soulbound enchantment, but there's nothing contradicting it either.

Really, there isn't any precedent for what happens when investing the same resource into the same receptacle does two different things, and I think either interpretation is about as valid as we're going to get.

Keld Denar
2010-06-30, 11:42 PM
You invest essentia into a soulmeld, though, not into the chakra slot.

This is exactly what I'm arguing. You invest essentia into a recepticle. That recepticle can be a soulmeld, a feat, a class ability, or a magic item. Each recepticle is different. A given item or body slot can contain multiple recepticles, but each recepticle is different. You aren't investing essentia into your axebuckler, you are investing essentia into the Weapon Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Shield Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Soulbound weapon enchantment on the axebuckler, or the Soulbound shield enchantment on the axebuckler.

Its like having a gun that is simultaneously a rifle and a gernade launcher. You load in ammo in the rifle, and you get rifle results. You load in ammo in the gernade launcher, you get gernade launcher results. If you look at it, though, its one weapon. Likewise, you load essentia into your ISFM weapon bond recepticle, you get the stun. If you load essentia into the ISFM shield bond, you get the resistance.

What would you say if an ISFM chose his armor spikes as his bonded weapon? If he invested essentia into his armor bond, would he get the stun when he attacked with the spikes? They are a part of the armor. But they aren't the same recepticle. Again, its just 2 recepticles occupying the same item. You aren't investing essentia into the item, you are investing essentia into the recepticle.

Zaq
2010-06-30, 11:55 PM
This is exactly what I'm arguing. You invest essentia into a recepticle. That recepticle can be a soulmeld, a feat, a class ability, or a magic item. Each recepticle is different. A given item or body slot can contain multiple recepticles, but each recepticle is different. You aren't investing essentia into your axebuckler, you are investing essentia into the Weapon Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Shield Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Soulbound weapon enchantment on the axebuckler, or the Soulbound shield enchantment on the axebuckler.

Its like having a gun that is simultaneously a rifle and a gernade launcher. You load in ammo in the rifle, and you get rifle results. You load in ammo in the gernade launcher, you get gernade launcher results. If you look at it, though, its one weapon. Likewise, you load essentia into your ISFM weapon bond recepticle, you get the stun. If you load essentia into the ISFM shield bond, you get the resistance.

What would you say if an ISFM chose his armor spikes as his bonded weapon? If he invested essentia into his armor bond, would he get the stun when he attacked with the spikes? They are a part of the armor. But they aren't the same recepticle. Again, its just 2 recepticles occupying the same item. You aren't investing essentia into the item, you are investing essentia into the recepticle.

The trick, I think, is the exact wording of Weapon Bond and Shield Bond. It says that you're investing the essentia in the "shield" or in the "weapon." Not in a "shield bond receptacle", but actually in the shield itself. At a minimum, the Soulbound/Shield Bond and Soulbound/Weapon Bond set of double-dips should work.

Gametime
2010-06-30, 11:59 PM
This is exactly what I'm arguing. You invest essentia into a recepticle. That recepticle can be a soulmeld, a feat, a class ability, or a magic item. Each recepticle is different. A given item or body slot can contain multiple recepticles, but each recepticle is different. You aren't investing essentia into your axebuckler, you are investing essentia into the Weapon Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Shield Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Soulbound weapon enchantment on the axebuckler, or the Soulbound shield enchantment on the axebuckler.

Its like having a gun that is simultaneously a rifle and a gernade launcher. You load in ammo in the rifle, and you get rifle results. You load in ammo in the gernade launcher, you get gernade launcher results. If you look at it, though, its one weapon. Likewise, you load essentia into your ISFM weapon bond recepticle, you get the stun. If you load essentia into the ISFM shield bond, you get the resistance.

What would you say if an ISFM chose his armor spikes as his bonded weapon? If he invested essentia into his armor bond, would he get the stun when he attacked with the spikes? They are a part of the armor. But they aren't the same recepticle. Again, its just 2 recepticles occupying the same item. You aren't investing essentia into the item, you are investing essentia into the recepticle.

Except you don't invest essentia into the ability. They could've explicitly made that the case; after all, there are feats into which you invest essentia. Rather, you invest essentia into the weapon (or shield). Both the enchantment and the ability are quite clear about this.


This bond allows you to invest essentia in the weapon as if it were a soulmeld.


A soulbound weapon serves as a receptacle for the
wearerís essentia much like a soulmeld.

In both cases, the weapon is explicitly the receptacle. I think you're right that investing essentia into a buckler-axe wouldn't double dip on weapon and shield essentia, if only because the magic item rules imply that an item that is a weapon and a shield is treated as either but not both at any given time.

However, leaving aside the buckler-axe, I think that a simple soulbond longsword crafted by an Ironsoul Forgemaster could double dip on essentia invested into it. You're investing essentia into the weapon, and you have two abilities that let you know what that means.

There is a case to be made for your point of view. The abilities both treat the weapon as a soulmeld, but there's nothing saying they're the same soulmeld, and you could make the case that this means that a single item serves as a separate receptacle for two different investments of essentia.

Frankly, I don't think there's enough support in the text, either implicitly or explicitly, to be assured of either interpretation.

Kantolin
2010-07-01, 01:00 AM
Same thing with a shield. The weapon aspect is different from the shield aspect. You enchant them seperately, just like a double weapon.

That's not quite the same thing, though. You can give the shield an 'Enhancement Bonus to Armour Class'. This doesn't do anything to its weapon properties since it's an enhancement bonus to Armour Class. If someone had an ability which let them use the shield's armour bonus as something else (or even damage), then you could use it for that purpose too.

(Which, as I type it, is a genius idea. I think I'm going to introduce that for a shield-focused prestige class I've been homebrewing. But that's neither here nor there.)

And on the double weapon, those actually could work if you are targetting the weapon. You don't have to disarm a double weapon twice, nor sunder a double weapon twice. You need to two-weapon fight to swing a double weapon twice (Or well, to get extra attacks withi t), but it is in fact one object.


You aren't investing essentia into your axebuckler, you are investing essentia into the Weapon Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Shield Bond class ability in the axebuckler, or the Soulbound weapon enchantment on the axebuckler, or the Soulbound shield enchantment on the axebuckler.

I think this is the point of contention.

You're not investing in the 'weapon bond class ability'. In the case of weapon bond:


This bond allows you to invest essentia in the weapon as if it were a soulmeld.

And in the case of shield bond:


This bond allows you to invest essentia in the shield as if it were a soulmeld

You're not investing essentia into the weapon bond class ability or shield bond class ability, you're investing in the weapon. Essentia you put in the weapon give you the bonus listed. If someone had a class ability that was 'essentia invested in your shield or Totem Avatar made your hair pink, then your hair would become pink and you'd get whatever other bonuses you'd get.

If you have a rifle that is also a grenade launcher, what you're doing is painting the [weapon] red, which makes the whole thing faster. ^_^

Now, I do agree that the rules as intended probably meant for you to keep them seperate. But, by RAW, you're investing in the object, and thus do get the additional bonuses.

Which in this precise situation doesn't strike me as terribly overpowered either, so I don't much mind.

Keld Denar
2010-07-01, 01:57 AM
That's not quite the same thing, though. You can give the shield an 'Enhancement Bonus to Armour Class'. This doesn't do anything to its weapon properties since it's an enhancement bonus to Armour Class. If someone had an ability which let them use the shield's armour bonus as something else (or even damage), then you could use it for that purpose too.

(Which, as I type it, is a genius idea. I think I'm going to introduce that for a shield-focused prestige class I've been homebrewing. But that's neither here nor there.)

This is actually legal. You can enchant a shield as either a defensive item or an offensive item, or both. If you enchant it with offensive power, it costs 2000 x bonus squared, just like a magic weapon does. If you enchant it as a defensive item, it costs 1000 x bonus squared, just like armor. If you enchant it as a defensive weapon, you don't get the + to hit and damage when you bash with it, and if you enchant it with offensive power, you don't get the bonus to your AC. If you got a +1/+1 shield, it would cost you 1000g + 2000g = 3000g, plus base cost and masterwork costs. Its like enchanting 2 seperate items, that just happen to be the same item. Bonuses are tallied seperate because the 2 aspects (offensive as a shield bash, defensive as a shield) are different.



And on the double weapon, those actually could work if you are targetting the weapon. You don't have to disarm a double weapon twice, nor sunder a double weapon twice. You need to two-weapon fight to swing a double weapon twice (Or well, to get extra attacks withi t), but it is in fact one object.


How much does it cost to enchant a double weapon? Double. Like I said, in some respects, its treated as a single weapon (you mentioned sundering, disarming, etc), but when magic is involved (enchanting, casting Greater Magic Weapon, etc), its 2 seperate weapons. The precident IS there, and that precident is to treat a double weapon as 2 seperate weapons. Similarly, a weapon that is simultaneously armor AND a weapon is treated as such. You can enchant one aspect as a weapon, and the other as a shield. If you sundered it, it would be one item, but when you enchant it, its 2, just like a double weapon. RAW backs this part up.

Also, I still claim that a Soulbound weapon is a seperate recepticle than an ISFM's Weapon Bond ability. As I cited before, a character could have 2 seperate soulmelds bound to the same Chakra (with the Double Chakra Bind feat). You aren't investing essentia into the Totem Chakra, you are investing essentia into the Girallon Arms soulmeld, or the Blink Shirt soulmeld, and points in one does not affect the other. You can have 2 points in your Girallon Arms, and 3 in your Blink Shirt, and for purposes of determining your Girallon Arms Str bonus, you are counted as having 2, not 5 essentia, invested in it, even though there are 5 essentia total in your Totem Chakra.

Similarly, you are investing essentia into the soulbound weapon enchantment, which treats the weapon as a recepticle, or you are investing essentia into the weapon bon class feature, which also treats the weapon as a recepticle. Except they aren't the same essentia recepticle. They just occupy the same space, like the above Blink Shirt/Girallon Arms combo. Within that weapon, they are still different recepticles, with different functions and abilities when you fill them. If you have 2 essentia invested in the Weapon Bond abilty, and 3 essentia invested in your ISFM Weapon Bond ability, you would not be treated as having 5 essentia in either, nor would you still be treated as still having 2 in the ISFM ability if you pulled the 3 points out and put them in another soulmeld. They are independant features unless explicitly called out as such, which they are not.

Gametime
2010-07-01, 02:29 AM
But you don't invest in the class features. You invest in the weapon. We aren't crossing the weapon/shield boundary, and we aren't talking about double weapons. We're talking about a single weapon, into which you can invest essentia. That's very different from two separate soulmelds.

You can invest essentia into soulmelds, not into class features. You can invest essentia into feats, not into...feat progression? I dunno, the analogy sort of breaks down there. Regardless, the essentia is invested into what the rules say it is invested into. In this case, we're investing essentia into a weapon, and the appropriate effects are the result.

Another possible argument for splitting the essentia investment is that each ability tells you different things that happen when you invest essentia. If you interpret "each point of essentia invested" as meaning "each point of essentia invested with regard to this ability," rather than "each point of essentia invested in this weapon," then the effects wouldn't double dip. This would be the worst possible interpretation for the Forgemaster, though, since there's still only one thing he's investing into - the weapon - and now he has to deal with a single essentia capacity limiting two possible investments.

Regardless, I can't find any support in the text for the idea that the single weapon is, in fact, two separate weapons, nor that the weapon into which we invest essentia for the Soulbond property is separate from the weapon into which we invest essentia for the Weapon Bond ability.