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unundindur
2012-04-02, 05:53 AM
The following is an attempt to create a more interesting Holy Avenger type weapon based on the rules for Legacy Weapons. I tried to make the weapon powerful enough that one would actually like to use it in a regular campaign, but not so powerful that you feel dumb without it.

I posted this over in the 3.5 forum, but realized this is probably the right place for it. I hope for some comments, both in terms of power/balance and other aspects of this writing. :smallsmile:

LIGHTBRAND
Lightbrand is a perfectly balanced sword of near white metal. The blade is cool to the touch, and pulses with light as if alive. The hilt resembles two angelic wings made of gleaming platinum, set with numerous yellow and blue topazes, and elaborate golden patterns. Right at the center, between the wings and below the blade, an oval hole gives you a sense of imperfection, though the weapon is otherwise nothing but a perfect work of craftsmanship.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics:
+1 cold iron bastardsword; Cost 2,350 gp. Lightbrand counts as a good-aligned silver weapon for purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and will not atune to regular weapon argument crystals from Magic Item Compendium.
Omen: Lightbrand continously shed bright light in a 20-foot radius, and otherwise count as a continous light spell with casterlevel 5 that cannot be turned off.

History
In ancient time, when heaven and hell was fighting to shape the world as we know it, the archangel Almaril was on the track of Xolbanasu, a great fiend of desceit. Although well prepared for fiendhunting, Almaril was defeated when the demon turned out to be a ghost. DC 15; The Fiend of Shadows
As the ultimate insult, Xolbanasu thought it amusing to leave the celestial Almarilís soul alive to watch the onslaught of the realm he sought to protect. The fiend trapped Almaril within the angels sword called Lightbrand, and gave the blade to a lesser devil amids the infernal armies. For centuries Almaril was forced to witness and feel the death of itís own kin, many caused by the very Lightbrand it had forged and enchanted so many aeons past. DC 18; Aeonís guilt
All suffering is eventually soothed, and Almaril found itís sleep at last when a demon hit the blade in an cataclysmic battle, causing the pommeljewel to leave the blade, along with the angelís soul. What righteous rage this ancient force would bring if again restored the world have yet to see.DC 25; Grudges never heal

Legacy Rituals
Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of Lightbrand.
A blades reflections: You must take Lightbrand to a mountaintop and meditate there while the sun dawns. Cost: 2,000gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy Lightbrand.
Shape the light: You must find and attach the missing pommel jewel Almaril to Lightbrand (see below). Cost: 13,500gp (excluding the value of Almaril). Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy Lightbrand.
Repell the darkness: Lightbrand must deal the killing blow to a demon or devil with CR 17 or higher in the Nine Hells or Baator. Cost: 38,000gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy Lightbrand.
Dawn: You must hunt down and slay the great fiend Xolbanasu. Cost: 150,000gp. After completing this ritual, you must choose the Epic Legacy (Lightbrand) feat.

Wielder Requirements
Lightbrand is wielded primarily by paladins, but fighters and clerics in the service of light are also good candidates.

Lightbrand Wielder Requirements
Base attack bonus +4
Any good alignment
Speak Language (Celestial)

{table]
5th Ward of light, Sentience, -1 to all skills checks
6th -
7th Bond of faith, -2 Hit Points
8th +2 bastardsword, -2 Hit Points
9th Improved radiance, -2 Hit Points
10th -
11th +2 evil outsider bane bastardsword, Living legacy, Guided Intuition, Improved Ward of light, -2 Hit Points, -1 to all skill checks
12th -
13th +3 evil outside bane bastardsword, -2 Hit Points
14th Greater radiance, -2 Hit Points
15th +3 keen evil outsider bane bastardsword, -2 Hit Points
16th Zealous Fury, -2 Hit Points
17th +4 keen evil outsider bane bastardsword, Greater ward of light, -2 Hit Points, -1 to all skill checks
18th -
19th +5 keen evil outsider bane bastardsword, -2 Hit Points
20th -
21th +6 keen evil outsider bane bastardsword, -6 hit Points
22nd -
23rd -
24th Lightís grace 3/day, -3 Hit Points
25th -
[/table]

Legacy Item Abilities
All of the following are legacy item abilities of Lightbrand.

Ward of light (Su): At 5th level, you enjoy the constant effects of a protection from evil spell. Caster level 5th.
Sentience (Su): At 5th level Lightbrand becomes a sentient item. As an intelligent item, Lightbrand has Intelligence 10, Wisdom 13, and Charisma 13. The blade can communicate empathically, and can hear and see out to 60 feet. The sword has an Ego score of 12 + itís enchancement bonus. In the event a personality conflict occurs, Lightbrand pushes you to search the world for evil to root out.
Bond of Faith (Su): Beginning at 7th, you cannot be disarmed of Lightbrand.
Improved radiance (Su): Starting at level 9, Lightbrand is the center of a constant bless spell with a radius of 20 feet. Caster level 5th.
Living Legacy (Su): At 11th level Lightbrand regains itís full personality. The weapon now have a Wisdom and Charisma score of 16, can speak telepathically in Celestial, and itís ego score increases by 2. At level 17 the egoscore increases by an additional 2, for a total of 16+ itís enchancement bonus.
Guided Intuition (Su): Starting at 11th level, you are no longer flat-footed.
Improved ward of light (Su): From 11th level and on, the wielder of Lightbrand gains Spell Resistance 5+Character Level, or +2 to existing spell resistance, whichever is better.
Greater radiance (Su): Beginning at 14th level, your aura improves, and Lightbrand is the center of a continual consecrate spell with a radius of 20 feet. Caster level 10th.
Zealous fury (Su): At 16th level and higher, you can make a full attack with Lightbrand after a charge.
Greater ward of light (Su): Starting at level 17, you are constantly warded from dark forces as if under the effect of a death ward spell. Caster level 15th.
Lightís Grace (Sp): At 24th level and higher, you can call on the blade to cast a quickened stilled, silent miracle three times per day. Any possible experience or gold costs are paid by the wielder as long as the sword uses this power on the wielders behalf. CL 30

ALMARIL
Price (Item Level): 10.000 gp (12th)
Caster Level: 9th
Body Slot Ė (weapon crystal)
Aura: Moderate; (DC 19) transmutation
Activation: -
Weight: -

This large blue diamond is carved in a perfect oval shape, and within lightning seems to flicker as if it tries to escape.

If attached to any other weapon than Lightbrand, Almaril will not bestow any of itís abilities on the recipent weapon. When attached to Lightbrand, the weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of damage to evil outsiders. Furthermore the weapon also functions as a ghost touch weapon (DMG 224). Finally, if the weapon scores a critical hit against an evil outsider, that creature canít use any teleportation abilities or spells for 1 round. Any evil creature grasping Lightbrand while it bears Almaril gains one negative level, which remains as long as it holds the weapon and disappears when the weapon is no longer wielded. This negative level never results in actual level loss, but it cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells) while the weapon is wielded.

As a unique item, Almaril cannot be created, but if it could it would have the following aditional statistics:

Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, align weapon, good alignment.
Cost to Create: 2500 gp, 200XP, 5 days.








BEHIND THE SCENE ABILITY BREAKDOWN

{table]
5 +2 Weapon (1L)
6 Protection from evil (1L), -2 Hit Points
7 Cannot be disarmed (1L), -1 to all skills checks
8 Continous bless (1L) -2 Hit Points
9 -2 Hit Points
10 Medium intelligence (2L), -2 Hit Points
11 Cunning (1M)
12 -+3 Weapon (1M), -2 Hit Points
13 -1 to all skill checks
14 -2 Hit Points
15 +5 Weapon (3M)
16 Consecrate continous (1M), -2 Hit Points
17 Spell resistance 5+characterlevel or +2 SR. (1G)
18 +5 keen evil outsider bane Weapon (1G for +2), -2 Hit Points, -1 to all skill checks
19 Death Ward (1G), -2 Hit Points
20 Pounce (1G), -2 hit Points
21 +6 keen evil outsiderbane weapon
22 -3 Hit Points
23 -3 Hit Points
24 Quickened, still, silent miracle 3/day, CL 30
25 -3 Hit Points
[/table]

I have tossed the abilities around a bit to give it a smoother progression, and to keep the bonuses closer to the penalties. I have tried to avoid extreme frontloading, but I am aware that it is somewhat frontloaded.

Kuma Kode
2012-04-02, 06:32 AM
You must travel to the Nine Hells or Baator and singelhandedly defeat a demon or devil with CR 15 or higher I never really liked these kinds of requirements. "In a co-operative game, do this cool thing by yourself." Not saying you can't engineer a cool scene that involves everyone, I just don't like that requirement. Personal opinion.


Zealous fury (Su): At 20th level and higher, you can make a full attack with Lightbrand after a charge. You must declare you are using this ability before charging. Why? There's no usage limit and no extra penalty, so why not just assume I'll use it every time I charge?


Lightís Grace (Sp): At 24th level and higher, you can call on the blade to cast a quickened stilled, silent miracle three times per day. Any possible experience or gold costs are paid by the wielder as long as the sword uses this power on the wielders behalf. CL 30 As cool as it makes it sound, stilled and silent are unnecessary for a magic item unless it's a spell completion trigger, which this doesn't seem to be.

For a -2 to all skills and -20 HP (by 20th level), you get an array of weak but constant powers. That does avoid one of the things that bugged me about most of the other weapons of legacy, namely the fact that you get an array of rather underwhelming 1/day spells. It does make you a bit more fragile, but it helps make up for that in raw damage dealing against demons and a little extra debuffing for undead. If I were playing a paladin in an evil-outsider heavy game, I'd actually consider using this, but outside of that it would be a toss-up.

Which you should take as a compliment, since nearly all of the weapons of legacy instead elicit a "NOPE."

I do like how you sneaked a few extra abilities past the legacy chart via the crystal. :smallamused:

Person_Man
2012-04-02, 07:51 AM
I think that the world can use more Legacy Weapons that don't suck. The book is a great concept, with terrible execution. So I applaud your effort.

So, if I'm counting correctly (not my strong suit) you're giving up 31 hit points, -3 to all Skill checks, and 165,500 gp, for eleven special abilities (plus whatever extras you get from the Intelligent Weapon rules). Seems fair enough.

But for the most part, all of those abilities duplicate low-mid level spells and effects. Protection from Evil, Bless, oddly worded Uncanny Dodge (or Foresight?), Consecrate, Keen, a locked gauntlet, weak spell resistance, Pounce (at 20th level?) etc. Ask yourself, why would a Paladin want this, when he can get a normal Holy Sword some wands which duplicate all of the effects for cheaper?

My suggestion is that up the power and reorder the abilities to be more level appropriate. Circle of Protection from Evil instead of Protection from Evil, Pounce at 7th level instead of 20th, SR = Character Level + 10 instead of 5, and just drop weak abilities like Bless, Keen, Bane, etc, and add more potent or sought after abilities that you can't duplicate with a normal magic sword you could buy anywhere.

Anywho, great idea, just needs some polishing.

unundindur
2012-04-03, 04:33 AM
I never really liked these kinds of requirements. "In a co-operative game, do this cool thing by yourself." Not saying you can't engineer a cool scene that involves everyone, I just don't like that requirement. Personal opinion.

Why? There's no usage limit and no extra penalty, so why not just assume I'll use it every time I charge?

As cool as it makes it sound, stilled and silent are unnecessary for a magic item unless it's a spell completion trigger, which this doesn't seem to be.

For a -2 to all skills and -20 HP (by 20th level), you get an array of weak but constant powers. That does avoid one of the things that bugged me about most of the other weapons of legacy, namely the fact that you get an array of rather underwhelming 1/day spells. It does make you a bit more fragile, but it helps make up for that in raw damage dealing against demons and a little extra debuffing for undead. If I were playing a paladin in an evil-outsider heavy game, I'd actually consider using this, but outside of that it would be a toss-up.

Which you should take as a compliment, since nearly all of the weapons of legacy instead elicit a "NOPE."

I do like how you sneaked a few extra abilities past the legacy chart via the crystal. :smallamused:

I have now changed the requirement for the ritual somewhat as I see your point :smallsmile:

The "must declare" clause on Pounce was there solely because the Legacy Weapon that already have this ability (Shishi-O) had it written that way. I have removed it as I agree with you.

As for the miracle, do you have any suggestions for what metamagics to add in there?

As for your general thoughts I am happy to see you think much the same as me. You lose -3 to all skills, and 20 HP, but you gain back something along the lines of 150.000gp, and abilities that are hard to obtain. I tried to give it abilities that are relevant at all levels. I was also quite happy about the gem myself :smallbiggrin:



I think that the world can use more Legacy Weapons that don't suck. The book is a great concept, with terrible execution. So I applaud your effort.

So, if I'm counting correctly (not my strong suit) you're giving up 31 hit points, -3 to all Skill checks, and 165,500 gp, for eleven special abilities (plus whatever extras you get from the Intelligent Weapon rules). Seems fair enough.

But for the most part, all of those abilities duplicate low-mid level spells and effects. Protection from Evil, Bless, oddly worded Uncanny Dodge (or Foresight?), Consecrate, Keen, a locked gauntlet, weak spell resistance, Pounce (at 20th level?) etc. Ask yourself, why would a Paladin want this, when he can get a normal Holy Sword some wands which duplicate all of the effects for cheaper?

My suggestion is that up the power and reorder the abilities to be more level appropriate. Circle of Protection from Evil instead of Protection from Evil, Pounce at 7th level instead of 20th, SR = Character Level + 10 instead of 5, and just drop weak abilities like Bless, Keen, Bane, etc, and add more potent or sought after abilities that you can't duplicate with a normal magic sword you could buy anywhere.

Anywho, great idea, just needs some polishing.

I agree we need more legacy items, and that the originals are to weak, and thanks.

You give up 20 hitpoints and 3 to all skills before epic level (after that the whole calculation becomes weirder).

If I were a Paladin, the reason i want these abilities is 1. Because they are continous thus saving resources. 2. Because they are supernatural, making them immune to dispel magic (a big deal) and because I disagree that pounce and "cannot be flat-footed" are low-powered :smallsmile:

When I hear about these wand-wielding parties I always wonder why that Lich isn't dispelling the whole ordeal, as wands have fixed low casterlevel.

So when it comes to powerlevel I am a bit in both lairs. On one hand I want the weapon to be relevant, but I don't want every player to use a legacy weapon, nor do I want it to increase the powerlevel of the game even further. I also tried as best I could to stay true to the original balancing-charts of the book, and i think I am already stretching that a little (unless abusing the wording of epic enchantment bonus, possibly giving us a 15 weapon at lv 21) :smallwink:

I think I agree the weapon could grant circle of protection from evil eventually, but SR 5+CL is actually quite good, its pretty much 25% spell resistance in AD&D, and I am one who thinks that is powerful.

Finally, when it comes to the time the abilities are given out I agree that pounce could come earlier, but half the point of these weapons is to give out thinks over time, and I have a hard time seeing other abilities that are powerful enough to be sort of a capstone ability... I might send it to level 15 or something if you think that would help :smallsmile:

Cieyrin
2012-04-03, 09:50 AM
I like a lot of what I see here, between non-crippling legacy costs, as well as a weapon that I could see a Paladin or Knight of the Chalice pursue.

I do agree with Person_Man about the SR being too low to be that relevant. When you get it, that's SR 16, which against like leveled casters is 25% but that's only if they haven't augmented their CL or increased their SR penetration via feat or spell. To be a relevant defense, I think you need it to be at least 10+ChL, which makes it at least a 50% chance of defending against.

Shuffling Pounce down a bit isn't a bad thing, either, as well as boosting some of the spells, which are nice as continuous supernaturals. Stretching Weapons of Legacy's framework isn't a bad thing, as I believe the general consensus is that WotC overbalanced the costs to powers of the system.

Finally, Light's Grace as a quickened miracle I think is fine, it doesn't need extra metamagics beyond that.

unundindur
2012-04-04, 07:55 PM
I like a lot of what I see here, between non-crippling legacy costs, as well as a weapon that I could see a Paladin or Knight of the Chalice pursue.

I do agree with Person_Man about the SR being too low to be that relevant. When you get it, that's SR 16, which against like leveled casters is 25% but that's only if they haven't augmented their CL or increased their SR penetration via feat or spell. To be a relevant defense, I think you need it to be at least 10+ChL, which makes it at least a 50% chance of defending against.

Shuffling Pounce down a bit isn't a bad thing, either, as well as boosting some of the spells, which are nice as continuous supernaturals. Stretching Weapons of Legacy's framework isn't a bad thing, as I believe the general consensus is that WotC overbalanced the costs to powers of the system.

Finally, Light's Grace as a quickened miracle I think is fine, it doesn't need extra metamagics beyond that.

Good to hear you like the frame :smallsmile:

I see where your point regarding the power of SR etc. but I feel that we cannot only compare a legacy-weapon to a possible other weapon, but also need to take into account the WBL-table, since you pay very little to actually get these abilities. No matter what slot you use, you basically get something like 150.000gp "for free". In this case, what you give up is something akin to two castings of False life and an item of +3 to all skills, both things I doubt would be priced at 150.000gp.

Secondly, when an enemy caster is spending feats or other resources to break through spell resistance that is actual investment, and we should not take such spending for granted. If you want to counter their Spell Penetration you could for instance take Improved Spell Resistance.

Don't get me wrong though, I see the point, and I am strongly considering to increase the SR to 10. I would love to hear more voices in this debate :smallsmile:

I have now moved down Pounce to level 16, which helps a little at least.

Just as an odd note I can say that when I thought out this item I had a Warblade10/Eternal Blade10 in mind (fluffed much like a paladin/ranger). If I were to use this item I would change small things like making it a Court Blade, and the Angel a Seldarine, but I think its important to make the design as simple as possible so others can use the item in their own campaigns :smallwink: