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View Full Version : The Weapons of the Natural Things [Artifact Set]



Admiral Squish
2008-01-04, 04:44 PM
In the days of yore, there were gods and spirits in everything natural, and everything was natural. But, as mankind grew as a force, gods began being edged out. Out of desperation, many different gods of the Natural Things formed together, consolidating their powers. But mankind was stronger still. And it kept growing. The Natural Things knew that they would have to join as one to retain any foothold on this earth as it rapidly became encased in the sprawling cities. But the Natural things had crystallized their forms long ago, into substances and forces so opposed to one another, they could not stand the thought of letting another share control. And so the gods bickered, divided amongst themselves as to who should take control to maintain all things natural. Then, one of them suggested a competition. But none could agree on the type. So they decided to make it an impartial competition, giving themselves to the humans they deemed most worthy. And so, the gods made themselves into weapons, each with unique and epic powers, and bonded themselves to those most like them in mind and heart. The world will be reshaped. It's just a question of who's image it will be in when the dust settles.


First, a note on the nature of these weapons. Upon coming into contact with any of these weapons, which appear somewhere close to the wielder selected during the night, The selected wielder will gain instant understanding as to what the weapon is, its name, how it works and what they are intended to do with it. If, at any time, the wielder is more than three hundred feet from the weapon, they are afflicted by a crushing pain and a strong desire to come back to the weapon. Upon reentering the area, the wielder is freed of the pain, but still compelled to find and possess the weapon. The wielder also gains a built-in sense as to the location of his weapon. The weapons are unbreakable, except to other weapons of this set. All the spells of these weapons are treated as having CL 20. They all are +5 weapons. The chosen wielder gains proficiency with their weapon automatically.

The Staff of the Forest

The Stave of the Forest is a thick and sturdy pole of wood, capped at both ends with a crown of leaves, each leaf different from the last. Walnut-sized nuts nestle among them, though they donít resemble walnuts themselves. Treat it as a quarterstaff.

Spells:
At will: Vine Staff, Shillelagh (self only), Evardís Menacing Tentacles (appear as vines), Spiked growth, Detect Animals or Plants, Speak with plants, Entangle, Shape Wood.
3/day: Blood Creepers, Wall of Thorns.
1/day: Changestaff, Transmute metal to Wood.

The Staff of Filth

The Stave of Filth is an old wooden staff, pockmarked with termite holes and wrapped in ancient, tattered rags. Blood is soaked into parts of it, and the skulls of vermin dangle from the ends, tied on with crude twine. Treat it as a quarterstaff.


At will: Poison, Summon Swarm, Stinking cloud, Rusting Grasp, Giant Vermin, Doom Scarabs, Web.
3/ day: Insect Plague, Creeping Doom, Eyebite, Toxic weapon (self only),
1/day: Horrid Wilting


The Oceanís blade

The oceanís blade is a longsword with transparent features. Itís guard is shaped like crashing waves, itís handle a spiraling vortex, tipped with a small sphere, holding a school of miniscule iridescent fish. Itís blade is long and thin, and crystal-clear, and bitterly cold to the touch. Treat it as a longsword with the icy burst ability.

At will: Obscuring mist, Fog cloud, Water breathing, Control Water, Create Water, Solid Fog, Ice storm, Wall of Ice, Chill Metal
3/day: Cone of Cold
1/day: Acid Fog, Elemental Swarm (water only)


The Axe of the Dragon

The Axe of the Dragon is composed nearly entirely of gold, but is as strong and unyielding as titanium. It's covered with the finest of detailed scales, and the grip is red leather. Its single blade is shaped and sculpted to appear as a dragon's head from the side, while still retaining its wicked edge. Treat it as a battleaxe with the flaming burst ability.

At will: Burning hands, Produce flame, Resist energy (fire only), Wall of Fire, Fire Shield, Heat Metal, Quench,
3/day: Fire seeds, Fire storm
1/day: Incendiary cloud, Elemental Swarm (fire only)


The Shield of the Stones

The Shield of the Stones is a large, circular shield forged of smooth stone, slightly curved to mirror the curvature of the planet. It is unbreakable in its toughness, and weighs well over three hundred pounds, though to its wielder, it seems to weigh almost nothing. Treat itís encumbrance as a buckler, but have it offer the AC bonus of a heavy shield, with the same damage for shield bashes.

At will: Meld into stone, Stone shape, Spike stones, Stoneskin, Transmute Mud to Rock, Transmute Rock to Mud,
3/day: Stone Tell, Wall of Stone, Move Earth
1/day: Earthquake, Elemental Swarm (earth only)

The Fans of the Gale

The Fans of the Gale are a pair of small folding fans, decorated with silk and golden thread. They fold easily and flick open with almost no effort. Their surfaces are stiffened and tipped with a razor-sharp edge. Treat them as light slashing weapons, 1d6 damage, and offering a +1 shield bonus to AC when used defensively. Treat them as shocking burst weapons.

At will: Jump, Gust of Wind, Wind Wall, Air Walk, Call Lightning Storm, Gaseous Form, Expedious Retreat, Feather Fall,
3/day: Control Weather, Wind Walk, Chain Lightning
1/day: Whirlwind, Storm of Vengeance, Elemental Swarm (air only)

The Jawbone of Death

The Jawbone of death is made of the age-worn bone of a long-extinct creature, wrapped in black silk held on by blood-colored leather, massive, dagger-sharp teeth poking through along its length. The bone is easily three feet long and as dense as steel. It is wielded as a club or axe, and deals damage like a Morningstar. Treat it as an unholy weapon

At will: Cause Fear, Death Knell, Animate Dead, Death Ward, Slay Living, False Life, Ghoul Touch, Scare, Gentle Repose, Contagion, Symbol of Pain,
3/day: Create Undead, Destruction Symbol of fear, Symbol of Weakness,
1/day: Create Greater Undead, Wail of the Banshee, Symbol of Death

The Scythe of the Lady

The Scythe of the Lady is fashioned of pearl and ivory, sculpted and colored into the shape of a woman standing on a long, thin pedestal, holding silver scales in one hand, her long, golden hair flowing out behind her as the blade. Its surface is perfectly smooth and clean, and no dirt or befoulment sticks to its surface, not even blood. Treat it as a holy weapon.


At will: Magic Circle Against Evil, Aid, Holy Smite, Dispel Evil, Zone of Truth, Cure Critical Wounds, Cure light wounds (mass)
3/day: Holy Word, Heal, Regenerate, Animate Objects
1/day: Holy Aura, Heal (mass)

The gauntlets of the Beast

This is not so much a gauntlet as a bracer of hide with a set of long horns extending past the knuckles. The straps that hold it in place are fastened with bone clasps of fang and joint. They deal 1d4 piercing damage, and grant the shield bonus of bracers, one on each arm. They grant the wearer shape shifting as a shapeshifter variant druid (PHBII, Pg. 39) equal to their character level.

At will: Bearís Endurance, Bulls Strength, Catís Grace, Eagleís Splendor, Owlís Wisdom, Spider Climb, Summon Natureís Ally (I-V)
3/day: Bearís Endurance (mass), Bulls Strength (mass), Catís Grace (mass), Eagleís Splendor (mass), Owlís Wisdom (mass), Summon Natureís Ally (VI+VII)
1/day: Summon Natureís Ally (VIII+IX)

The Glasses of Knowledge

The Glasses of Knowledge are a pair of simple, wire-framed glasses, completely inauspicious, though obviously of high quality. These Glasses cannot be used as weapons. These represent humanity's entry in the great contest.

At will: Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Detect undead, Detect good, Detect evil, Detect chaos, Detect law, Detect Animals, Detect Plants, Detect Secret Doors, Detect Thoughts, Detect Scrying, Read Magic, Identify, Comprehend Languages, Locate Object, See Invisibility, Arcane Sight, Tongues, Locate Creature, Prying Eyes, Augury, Awaken
3/day: True seeing, Legend Lore, Arcane Sight (greater)
1/day: Discern Location, Prying Eyes (greater)

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I wrote these up way back when as the basis for a roleplay on gaia online. Then They sat in my hard drive for several years, before I spotted them once again, and turned them into artifacts, with the potential for a VERY interesting campaign. Anyway, tell me what you think! The fluffy bits are old, so the writing isn't the best ever, sorry about that.

I'm not asking if they're balanced game-wise. That's not the intent. They're supposed to be overpowered, but each wielder is overpowered in their own way. The question is: Are they balanced against each other, if used correctly?

Eighth_Seraph
2008-01-04, 08:38 PM
Overpowered? As artifacts? I suppose it depends largely on campaign setting, but these weapons you've presented here are all a bit stronger than standard equipment for fairly high level adventurers (levels 15 and up).The "+5 weapon with lotsa handy spell effects and four or five powerful spell effects" template seems to be a good way to keep all of them balanced against each other. The glasses are a nice little wild card for a canny competitor to use to manipulate events, too. Nicely done.

However, if you want to really make them unbalancing in a standard D&D game, so that whole armies will follow this one guy because he's insanely powerful and the chosen of the gods, then one extremely powerful unique ability would be appropriate. For example, each one might transform the wielder into the essence of the proper aspect of nature once a day for a short time: An enormous awakened tree, a Colossal water golem, a great wyrm dragon, a primal earth elemental. Anything, so long as it has a reasonably epic CR.

On the other hand, the items could give a great deal of control over the their respective domains. The Ocean's Blade could grant some waterbender-esque abilities (check my signature), the Staff of the Forest can automatically animate and command all trees within a hefty radius; etc.

The idea is that if you're going to call this an artifact set, then they should be, I dunno, artifact worthy, as opposed to just being powerful magic items. Either of these would made the artifact wielder on the same level as a small army of level 3-6 mooks, and would give the appropriate effect.

If you're not looking for a fix like this (or at all), then ignore everything I've written. Just rest assured that your items as they are are balanced against each other solidly.

Admiral Squish
2008-01-04, 09:17 PM
Overpowered? As artifacts? I suppose it depends largely on campaign setting, but these weapons you've presented here are all a bit stronger than standard equipment for fairly high level adventurers (levels 15 and up).The "+5 weapon with lotsa handy spell effects and four or five powerful spell effects" template seems to be a good way to keep all of them balanced against each other. The glasses are a nice little wild card for a canny competitor to use to manipulate events, too. Nicely done.

However, if you want to really make them unbalancing in a standard D&D game, so that whole armies will follow this one guy because he's insanely powerful and the chosen of the gods, then one extremely powerful unique ability would be appropriate. For example, each one might transform the wielder into the essence of the proper aspect of nature once a day for a short time: An enormous awakened tree, a Colossal water golem, a great wyrm dragon, a primal earth elemental. Anything, so long as it has a reasonably epic CR.

On the other hand, the items could give a great deal of control over the their respective domains. The Ocean's Blade could grant some waterbender-esque abilities (check my signature), the Staff of the Forest can automatically animate and command all trees within a hefty radius; etc.

The idea is that if you're going to call this an artifact set, then they should be, I dunno, artifact worthy, as opposed to just being powerful magic items. Either of these would made the artifact wielder on the same level as a small army of level 3-6 mooks, and would give the appropriate effect.

If you're not looking for a fix like this (or at all), then ignore everything I've written. Just rest assured that your items as they are are balanced against each other solidly.

Well, there were two ways this could have gone. One way, the party might have a wielder in their number. The other was to have a party caught in the middle of this tournament, not a part of it, but still affected. I.E, the filth guy destroying their town as he fights the forest guy. Of course, items like these would make their owners difficult to defeat, but not impossible, according to your assessment.

So, basically, you helped me make up my mind.

Admiral Squish
2008-01-05, 02:43 AM
seventy-one views, and a single comment? That's definitely a new record. Come on, people!

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2008-01-05, 02:50 PM
I've gotten worse. almost 150 views and 1 comment.

On topic, they look weaker then the Major Artifacts from the DMG. However, those were meant to be legends, the players would only find those near epic levels, and only then maybe. These look like they would actually be used in a campaign, more like Minor Artifacts.