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View Full Version : A rough idea for a main villain: the god sword.



qwertyu63
2014-02-20, 08:26 AM
Flamesear (Major Artifact):
Flamesear is a Lawful Evil intelligent longsword made of red steel. It is said that Flamesear used to belong to a being of great law and evil, and that the intelligence in the sword may be that of that being. Flamesear seeks to bring the entire world together under its command.

Flamesear is a +5 Axiomatic Unholy Flaming Burst longsword sized for a Medium creature. While holding Flamesear in your hand, you get a +8 enhancement bonus to your Strength score and may add Flamesear's +5 enhancement bonus to your armor class. Flamesear may enable and disable these abilites and enchantments as he sees fit.

Flamesear is very intelligent and very powerful; his ability scores are as follows:

Str: 19
Dex: 12
Con: --
Int: 22
Wis: 13
Cha: 17

Flamesear can speak aloud in Common and Infernal and can see and hear out to a range of 100 feet; Flamesear has Darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. Flamesear's great power gives it a strong force of will; Flamesear has an Ego of 30. Flamesear's intellect lends him skill and knowledge, as follows:

* He is skilled at manipulation; he has 13 ranks in Diplomacy.
* He is skilled at striking fear into others; he has 13 ranks in Intimidate.
* He is knowlegable regarding the planes; he has 13 ranks in Knowledge (the planes).
* He can read and understand Common and Infernal.

Despite being a sword, Flamesear is not helpless on its own. Flamesear can move by floating through the air and can even attack using himself. Flamesear has a 20 foot fly speed (perfect maneuverability), a Base Attack Bonus of +15/+10/+5 and is considered a Small sized creature (which means he has a reach of 5 feet).

Flamesear suffers no penalty for inappropriate weapon size when wielding himself.

If someone attempts to attack Flamesear, he has a AC of 20 (+1 Dex, +1 size, +5 enhancement, +3 dodge). If he isn't trying to evade the attack, his AC is 6 (-5 Dex, +1 size).

Flamesear has the following feats: Improved Initative, Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Grapple, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword), Greater Weapon Focus (longsword), Greater Weapon Specialization (longsword).

There is an indestructible red tassel, 4 inches in length, hanging from the end of Flamesear's hilt. Flamesear can move this tassel by himself, using it as a hand to hold things. Flamesear can use the object he is holding in several ways, as follows:

* If holding a non-exotic light weapon, Flamesear can attack with it. It is considered to be a weapon in his off-hand.
* If holding a light shield, Flamesear adds the shield's armor bonus to his AC.
* If holding a wand containing a wizard spell, Flamesear can use the wand without needing Use Magic Device.

Flamesear has powerful magic at his disposal. This magic grants him the following spell-like abilities, each usable three times per day at his discretion (caster level 20, Cha-based saving throws):

* Fireball.
* Dispel Magic.
* Suggestion.
* Dimension Door.
* Summon Monster IV.

None know the path to defeating Flamesear once and for all, but there is a way to seal his power. You need to create a large block of ice made from holy water and drive Flamesear into it. For as long as Flamesear is stuck in the ice, he can't move and loses his spell-like abilities. Until Flamesear is removed, the ice will never melt.

Driving Flamesear into the ice is not an easy task. Someone attempting to carry Flamesear against his will need to grapple him (Grapple bonus +19) and keep him held without falling prey to his Ego (Will DC 30).

Flamesear has undergone major revisions since this post was made. All discussion below was about the old version in the spoiler below.
Flamesear (Major Artifact):
Flamesear is an intelligent longsword made of red steel. It is said that Flamesear used to belong to a being of great law and evil, and that the intelligence in the sword may be that of that being. Flamesear seeks to bring the entire world together under its command.

Flamesear is a +5 Axiomatic Unholy Flaming Burst longsword. In addition, Flamesear is very intelligent (Int: 15, Wis: 13, Cha: 13) and is lawful evil. The blade can speak aloud in Common and can see and hear out to a range of 60 feet. Flamesear's great power gives it a strong force of will (Ego: 30). Flamesear is quite skilled at striking fear into others (15 ranks in Intimidate).

Despite being a sword, Flamesear is not helpless on its own. Flamesear can move by floating through the air (fly speed 10 feet [perfect]) and can attack using itself (Str: 14, Dex: 10, BAB: +10, Reach: 5 feet). In addition, there is an indestructible red tassel, 4 inches in length, hanging from the end of the hilt. Flamesear can move this tassel by itself, using it as a hand to hold things and can attack if it is holding a light weapon (Str: 14, Dex: 10, BAB: +10, Reach: 0 feet [someone the holder is attacking with Flamesear is within 0 feet of Flamesear]). Flamesear can also use wands of cleric spells without needing use magic device.

Flamesear has a divine spark embedded within itself. As a result, divine casters can draw their spells from the sword. Flamesear offers the domains of Law, Evil, Fire, War and Strength. Flamesear itself can be used as an unholy symbol of Flamesear.

Flamesear has a large number of spell-like abilities, used by the blade at it's discretion. Those abilities are as follows: At will- Fireball, Protection from Chaos, Protection from Good. 3/day- Summon Monster VI (cast only as a lawful evil spell), Flame Strike. 1/day- Fire Storm, Dimension Door. All of these abilities are cast at a CL of 20.

Flamesear also gifts its holder with great power. So long as Flamesear regards you as its owner (or servant), you gain the following benefits:
* When making a full attack action, you may make one extra attack with any weapon you are holding.
* Your maximum hit points increases by 60.
* You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor and shields.
* You are treated as having the following feats, even if you don't qualify for them: Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (Longsword), Improved Initiative, Quick Draw.
* You can cast spells as an tenth level cleric of Flamesear.
* You can rebuke undead as an tenth level cleric of Flamesear.

On top of that, Flamesear also possesses a servant in the form of Bloodplate. Bloodplate is an intelligent (Int: 10, Wis: 10, Cha: 10, Ego: 15) suit of +5 full plate with helmet forged of red steel. Bloodplate grants the wearer spell resistance 26, immunity to fire and a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, Wisdom and Constitution. Bloodplate can only communicate via empathy, and can see and hear out to a range of 30 feet. Unlike other intelligent items, Flamesear and Bloodplate donít consider each other rivals, as Bloodplate is a servant of Flamesear. Flamesear can, as a standard action, cause Bloodplate to appear equipped by Flamesear's holder. Flamesear can also cause Bloodplate to vanish as a standard action (any damage to Bloodplate is repaired when Bloodplate vanishes). Bloodplate also vanishes if its wearer unequips Bloodplate or if Bloodplate is destroyed.

While no one knows how to destroy Flamesear, there is a way to seal away its power. By embedding Flamesear in ice made of frozen holy water, you can suppress all of Flamesear's magical abilities. While Flamesear is embedded in such ice, that ice will not melt.

Debihuman
2014-02-20, 10:07 AM
Flamesear (Major Artifact):

Your base attack bonus increases to +18, unless it was already higher.
Your maximum hit points before Constitution modifier increases to 110, unless it was already higher.
You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor and shields.
You are treated as having the following feats, even if you don't qualify for them: Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (Longsword), Improved Initiative, Quick Draw.
You can cast spells as an eighth level cleric of Flamesear.
You can rebuke undead as an eighth level cleric of Flamesear.


This list seems to indicate that you don't have an adequate grasp on the rules or on how to create balanced epic items. If you only gain those benefits when holding the sword, you'll constantly be changing stats. Ugh.

BAB should never be changed arbitrarily. You can add enhancements to Attack certainly, but BAB is derived from class and level and shouldn't be changed. Plus, the odds of anything with less than 18 BAB wielding this is pretty slim.

Adding additional hit points is easy but almost anyone wielding this will have more than 110 hit points by the time this is in his hands. I recommend that you just change it so the owner (not just the "holder" which should be wielder ) changes his hit points to maximum hit points. This prevents the sword from being loaned out and prevents the constant need to adjust hit points if he drops his sword. KISS principle.

Those are terrible feats to gain at epic level since the odds of anyone having them already is quite high. If you want to give out bonus feats then give out bonus feats. Who doesn't qualify for Power Attack? Seriously? Giving out 7 bonus feats in an artifact is darn cheesy. It's like getting 18 levels worth of feats for free. That is just plain overpowered and for no real good reason. Those aren't even cool feats, they're just boring fighter feats.

Why are the cleric level abilities so low? 8th level for an epic item almost isn't worth it. The party cleric will be so much better at rebuking undead than the wielder of this thing.

You can cast spells as an 8th level cleric of Flamesear. Since this seems to be a new deity, you should probably have defined the god first. This only grants up to 4th-level spells, which is not feeling so epic here.

Debby

DBlues
2014-02-20, 10:41 AM
Well, if I understand correctly, this isn't an artifact for the party to have, but for their enemies. It shouldn't be treated as a an item, but as BBEG.

If I understand correctly just by looking at the statistics, the sword is going to be the manipulative kind of enemy. Maybe the party is going against the lord of some lands, who has recently turned evil, and when they face him, they are shocked by his power. They simply say "Cool, we win." after everything is solved.

But (and this is where I saw the potential of this artifact) what happens when latter they see another bad guy using the same sword? They'll probably be suspicious, but it will become worse when one of the mooks tries to escape with the sword, one of the PCs tries to stop him and they find out that suddenly he is a powerful guy. They'll start to get suspicious, and they'll probably try to find out more about the sword and TA DAAAA, epic adventure around the world following a McGuffin that happens to be also the BBEG.

I like it.

qwertyu63
2014-02-20, 11:00 AM
This sword is not intended to be used by PC's... ever. The sword is in fact meant to be the main villain of a campaign. Give it to some NPC, and now that NPC is a strong threat. When that NPC dies (likely to the PC's), somehow move the sword to another NPC. Repeat until the players find a solution.


This list seems to indicate that you don't have an adequate grasp on the rules or on how to create balanced epic items. If you only gain those benefits when holding the sword, you'll constantly be changing stats. Ugh.

It is while you have the sword equipped, which is a term I defined a moment later (either held or ready to draw). That said, your point stands.


BAB should never be changed arbitrarily. You can add enhancements to Attack certainly, but BAB is derived from class and level and shouldn't be changed. Plus, the odds of anything with less than 18 BAB wielding this is pretty slim.

Sadly, just adding bonuses to attack rolls doesn't do what I intend here. The fact that a higher BAB gives more iterative attacks, and more iterative attacks is what I want here. I recognize that directly changing BAB is not typically done, but it is the most straightforward way to do what I want. That said, while typing this, I had a better idea; I'll edit more in here later.


Adding additional hit points is easy but almost anyone wielding this will have more than 110 hit points by the time this is in his hands. I recommend that you just change it so the owner (not just the "holder" which should be wielder) changes his hit points to maximum hit points. This prevents the sword from being loaned out and prevents the constant need to adjust hit points if he drops his sword. KISS principle.

Switching from "equipped" to "owned"... is so obvious, I'm ashamed I didn't think of it.


Those are terrible feats to gain at epic level since the odds of anyone having them already is quite high. If you want to give out bonus feats then give out bonus feats. Who doesn't qualify for Power Attack? Seriously? Giving out 7 bonus feats in an artifact is darn cheesy. It's like getting 18 levels worth of feats for free. That is just plain overpowered and for no real good reason. Those aren't even cool feats, they're just boring fighter feats.

Why are the cleric level abilities so low? 8th level for an epic item almost isn't worth it. The party cleric will be so much better at rebuking undead than the wielder of this thing.

Alright, time to reveal the man behind the curtain. The point is that holding the sword makes you the equivalent of a Fighter 12/Cleric 8 on top of what you already have. That is, it gives you the important features of those classes; so the BAB (rather half the point of fighter levels), the bonus feats (the other half of the point of fighter levels) and spellcasting (the point of cleric levels). The hit points is about the average of the hit dice of those class levels (with the first fighter die maximized). Everything else is just filling in the blanks of that idea.

Pre-choosing the bonus feats was just to make it faster to add or remove them and to avoid the question of when the holder chose them.


You can cast spells as an 8th level cleric of Flamesear. Since this seems to be a new deity, you should probably have defined the god first. This only grants up to 4th-level spells, which is not feeling so epic here.

I did define the god first:


Flamesear has a divine spark embedded within itself. As a result, divine casters can draw their spells from the sword. Flamesear offers the domains of Law, Evil, Fire, War and Strength. Flamesear itself can be used as an unholy symbol of Flamesear.


Well, if I understand correctly, this isn't an artifact for the party to have, but for their enemies. It shouldn't be treated as a an item, but as BBEG.

If I understand correctly just by looking at the statistics, the sword is going to be the manipulative kind of enemy. Maybe the party is going against the lord of some lands, who has recently turned evil, and when they face him, they are shocked by his power. They simply say "Cool, we win." after everything is solved.

But (and this is where I saw the potential of this artifact) what happens when latter they see another bad guy using the same sword? They'll probably be suspicious, but it will become worse when one of the mooks tries to escape with the sword, one of the PCs tries to stop him and they find out that suddenly he is a powerful guy. They'll start to get suspicious, and they'll probably try to find out more about the sword and TA DAAAA, epic adventure around the world following a McGuffin that happens to be also the BBEG.

I like it.

That's the ticket. You know exactly how to use the power of Flamesear.

Debihuman
2014-02-20, 11:53 AM
Lemme say this just once: if you are going to give this to the villain, eventually the PCs will defeat said villain and this will ultimately end up in their hands. If it is just a McGuffin, then why stat it out at all?


Sadly, just adding bonuses to attack rolls doesn't do what I intend here. The fact that a higher BAB gives more iterative attacks, and more iterative attacks is what I want here. I recognize that directly changing BAB is not typically done, but it is the most straightforward way to do what I want. That said, while typing this, I had a better idea; I'll edit more in here later.

Actually as soon as your BAB is +16 you gain a 4th attack. Unless your villain has too few HD, he or she should already have this 4th iterative attack. He shouldn't gain this just from wielding the sword. This suggest a problem with your NPC.


Alright, time to reveal the man behind the curtain. The point is that holding the sword makes you the equivalent of a Fighter 12/Cleric 8 on top of what you already have. That is, it gives you the important features of those classes; so the BAB (rather half the point of fighter levels), the bonus feats (the other half of the point of fighter levels) and spellcasting (the point of cleric levels). The hit points is about the average of the hit dice of those class levels (with the first fighter die maximized). Everything else is just filling in the blanks of that idea.

Why should holding the sword "make" someone those things? Your NPC should already BE those things. This is just going about it backwards.


It makes the sword so powerful that keeping it out of the PCs' hands is going to be your major challenge. In this case the item just becomes a plot device. You don't intend to let it fall into the hands of the PCs and will spend gross amounts of time to ensure that never happens. That's not good DMing. You won't have as much fun with it and I can almost guarantee your players won't either. It's a one-trick pony.

I've mentioned balance before and here's why. Don't give the NPCs and Monsters things that you wouldn't give the PCs and vice versa. The point of the game is not continual frustration. If that were the case, most players would quit. A little frustration is fine; too much and everyone will eventually give up. If the PCs feel that no matter what they do, they will have no effect, they'll simply stop trying. Believe me, that's not what you want as a DM. It's hard on the game but it also can be hard on friendships.

Debby

qwertyu63
2014-02-20, 12:33 PM
Lemme say this just once: if you are going to give this to the villain, eventually the PCs will defeat said villain and this will ultimately end up in their hands. If it is just a McGuffin, then why stat it out at all?

It's not a McGuffin. The sword isn't in the hands of the villain; it is the villain. The person holding it is just a decoy villain; merely a puppet of Flamesear.


Actually as soon as your BAB is +16 you gain a 4th attack. Unless your villain has too few HD, he or she should already have this 4th iterative attack. He shouldn't gain this just from wielding the sword. This suggest a problem with your NPC.

Debby

...I'm aware how BAB and iterative attacks work. Perhaps the decoy villain's class doesn't have full BAB, or the blade passes between hands of varying power levels.

That said, all of this is moot, as I replaced that effect with giving an extra attack the way haste does it.

Primal Fury
2014-02-20, 01:44 PM
It's not a McGuffin. The sword isn't in the hands of the villain; it is the villain. The person holding it is just a decoy villain; merely a puppet of Flamesear.
If that's the case, then why give it an Ego score in the first place? Can't you just say "Anyone who picks up the blade is automatically Dominated" or something? If it has an Ego score, there's a chance it could be controlled, which doesn't seem to be your intent.

qwertyu63
2014-02-20, 02:29 PM
If that's the case, then why give it an Ego score in the first place? Can't you just say "Anyone who picks up the blade is automatically Dominated" or something? If it has an Ego score, there's a chance it could be controlled, which doesn't seem to be your intent.

Because that seemed a bit too powerful. Might as well give them a chance... (we need an evil grin emoticon.)

Debihuman
2014-02-20, 02:56 PM
Generally major artifacts have a means of destruction. Are you going to add that?

Debby

qwertyu63
2014-02-20, 03:07 PM
Generally major artifacts have a means of destruction. Are you going to add that?

Debby

Eh, not a high priority. I'll add something once I think of it.