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TheCountAlucard
2008-07-20, 08:36 PM
I'm starting a game soon, and one of my players wanted his character to have a Shatterspike. This got me thinking.

Adventuring parties are mercenary in nature, even the good ones. I've seen a game session where the PCs tried to salvage a mithral pedastal from the dungeon, even though the DM took measures to ensure that it was not treasure.

DM: You can't pull it out, it's rooted in the stone floor.
P1: I cast Transmute Rock to Mud.
DM: It's too heavy to carry.
P2: Bull's Strength.

FoE
2008-07-20, 08:47 PM
So your point is that D&D players are inherently greedy bastards?


http://images.wikia.com/uncyclopedia/images/1/15/CaptainobviousChooseOption.jpg

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-20, 08:47 PM
So, in the "kill it and take its stuff" mindset of an adventurer, where does sundering fit in?

It doesn't. Even though an extreme tactical advantage exists between an armed fighter and an unarmed one, characters rarely destroy the wealth they work so hard to get.

Worse yet, some players will get angry at a DM for having NPCs sunder a weapon.

DM: His warhammer shatters your father's sword.
P1: Ow, my heritage! I'll kill you!

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-20, 08:55 PM
When your items determine your usefulness, you do not want those items broken.

The way things stand now, sundering is a rarely-used tactic. Unless you want to become a blackguard, are fighting a hydra, or know that your opponent's weapon is cursed, Improved Sunder is a complete waste.

Any thoughts, Playgrounders?

FoE
2008-07-20, 08:57 PM
You forget the other primary motivation of adventurers is randomly killing things. Oh, adventurers may seek out loot in order to feed themselves and buy better toys, but at the end of the day, they've still got those murderous urges to satisfy. Being able to smash your opponent's weapon more easily facilitates your carving of said opponent into little bits.

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-20, 09:06 PM
So your point is that D&D players are inherently greedy bastards?

My point was that because players are like this, sundering is an extremely-underused tactic.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Obvious. Still, just thought I'd share my thoughts.

RandomLunatic
2008-07-20, 09:13 PM
I agree.

With respect to PCs, sunder targets fall into two categories:

1: Stuff Not Worth Sundering Because Sundering The Guy's Face Is Faster

With amount of effort you put into breaking the guy's weapon, you could have just broken his bones instead, which would be far more effective at putting him out of the fight. A 1-HD Orc's Falchion is an example. So is a Titan's maul.

2: Stuff You Do Not Want To Sunder

Either because you want to keep it for yourself, or because sundering it would be A Bad Idea. The BBEG's uber-sword is an example of the first, and a Dawnstar of the second.

Improved Sunder may as well be called Improved Break Your Own Treasure, or maybe Improved Shoot Yourself in the Foot.

erikun
2008-07-20, 09:14 PM
For some reason, all of my sunderers have been clerics/similar classes. I found smashing stuff to be fun for a bit, assuming it wasn't the BBEG's sword or something obviously useful.

Beyond that, you're right - sundering just doesn't have much use. You could use a chain weapon and trip/disarm the same opponent for a much better effect (AoO when standing up, AoO when picking up weapon) if you wanted to remove their weapon. Plus, you don't need to worry about your opponent's weapon having too many +'s to sunder.

shadow_archmagi
2008-07-20, 09:21 PM
too many +'s to sunder.

!!!!:smallconfused:

Such a thing exists? Thats HORRIBLE. Having one's epic weapon destroyed at the worst possible moment by unlikely circumstances is LEGENDARY.

tyckspoon
2008-07-20, 09:59 PM
!!!!:smallconfused:

Such a thing exists? Thats HORRIBLE. Having one's epic weapon destroyed at the worst possible moment by unlikely circumstances is LEGENDARY.

Sort of. A higher base enhancement bonus gives a weapon more hardness and more HP- +2 hardness and +10 hp for each +1 of base bonus. So a +5 sword is hardness 20 (base 10) and has 55 hp (base 5). The hardness 20 is probably most significant, since it means you can no longer go the easy way and cut it in half by poking it really hard with an adamantine needle. Still not much deterrent to a dedicated sundering setup, tho, with all the things that provide bonuses to Sunder checks or reduce the target's effective hardness.

Chronicled
2008-07-20, 10:11 PM
When your items determine your usefulness, you do not want those items broken.

The way things stand now, sundering is a rarely-used tactic. Unless you want to become a blackguard, are fighting a hydra, or know that your opponent's weapon is cursed, Improved Sunder is a complete waste.

Any thoughts, Playgrounders?

Sundering an enemy's spell component pouch or holy symbol is often a pretty good idea...

Not to mention that Imp Sunder is a prerequisite for the very good tactical feat Combat Brute (and a few other decent things, not just the crappy Blackguard PrC).

herrhauptmann
2008-07-20, 11:16 PM
The problem with sundering, even avoiding the fact that destroying the BBEGs sword would cause an explosion, is that after the fight you're left with a powerful magic sword that can be sold. To someone, somewhere.

Sundering every boss weapon or mini-boss weapon, eventually gives a big hit in teh coinpurse. Especially if that weapon is one that is meant for the party to carry.

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-20, 11:28 PM
Exactly. You guys have hit the issue right on the head. Sundering is about as useful as the Forgery skill.

While it does have a few particular uses, focusing on sundering is not going to do the player any good. Destroying a magic sword throws a thousand gold pieces out the window, and destroying a non-magical one isn't worth the effort it takes.

lordofthe_wog
2008-07-20, 11:38 PM
I enjoy using sundering as part of an intimidate roll. You know, you find yourself surrounded by orcs, all brandishing falchions and the like. A large one steps forward, holding an axe inches from your face. *roll for sunder* Your sword dashes up and cleaves through the axe handle, dropping the head to the ground uselessly.

Congratulations, now you might be able to pull off an Intimidate or Bluff check. Or you just screwed yourself.

DigoDragon
2008-07-21, 07:24 AM
Exactly. You guys have hit the issue right on the head. Sundering is about as useful as the Forgery skill.

Actually less so. At least with Forgery you can create fake letters of credit to hand over to the Red Wizards for their magical items only to run off to the local evil orc band and sell the magic items as a ransom payment to get back the cute princess they captured and then run off to high ground before the wizards track down the magic items and blow away the orcs for them back.

Hypothetically speaking of course. :smallwink: :smallwink:

shadow_archmagi
2008-07-21, 08:34 AM
Actually less so. At least with Forgery you can create fake letters of credit to hand over to the Red Wizards for their magical items only to run off to the local evil orc band and sell the magic items as a ransom payment to get back the cute princess they captured and then run off to high ground before the wizards track down the magic items and blow away the orcs for them back.

Hypothetically speaking of course. :smallwink: :smallwink:


Forgery means you can get into any event, anywhere, because you have an invitation/degree/certificate/I.D.

If your DM is nice, you can combine a high Forgery skill with Craft Wonderous item to make Psychic Paper (Forgery is instantaneous, and you may always take 20, even if you have only a vague idea what the document should look like)

Curmudgeon
2008-07-21, 09:49 AM
I've mostly seen enthusiasm for sundering when applied to things that don't have much economic value, but make a big impact on an enemy's effectiveness. So: holy symbols, spell component pouches, quiver straps, and the like.

That, of course, usually works well with a DM who reads off NPC inventory lists automatically, rather than enforcing the Spot rules. Come on -- when you've got a couple of guys with big swords running at you, how much time are you going to spend checking out the equipment of the other people, to see what they're wearing?

herrhauptmann
2008-07-21, 01:26 PM
I've mostly seen enthusiasm for sundering when applied to things that don't have much economic value, but make a big impact on an enemy's effectiveness. So: holy symbols, spell component pouches, quiver straps, and the like.

That, of course, usually works well with a DM who reads off NPC inventory lists automatically, rather than enforcing the Spot rules. Come on -- when you've got a couple of guys with big swords running at you, how much time are you going to spend checking out the equipment of the other people, to see what they're wearing?

I know that sundering, as written, isn't allowed for stuff like armor and helmets. I didn't think you could use it on what is essentially articles of clothing (spell component pouches, quiver straps). I do like the idea of sundering a holy symbol though.

Question: When sundering a weapon, is it only the bonus to damage and attack that improve the weapons hardness and HP? Or do things like Unholy also raise the weapons hardness and HP? (after all, a +1 flaming sword is the same cost as a +2 sword)

quiet1mi
2008-07-21, 01:33 PM
if you need to capture your target,{alive,in one piece,unharmed} destroying their weapon is an effective way to ending the fight with out too much blood shed...

tyckspoon
2008-07-21, 01:35 PM
That, of course, usually works well with a DM who reads off NPC inventory lists automatically, rather than enforcing the Spot rules. Come on -- when you've got a couple of guys with big swords running at you, how much time are you going to spend checking out the equipment of the other people, to see what they're wearing?

It's usually pretty obvious once they've cast a spell at you/shot an arrow at you. The implements for spellcasting are often in the open and readily accessible for the spellcaster's own benefit; that means they're usually pretty easy to spot and are attackable by other people as well.



Question: When sundering a weapon, is it only the bonus to damage and attack that improve the weapons hardness and HP? Or do things like Unholy also raise the weapons hardness and HP? (after all, a +1 flaming sword is the same cost as a +2 sword)

Just the base enhancement bonus. A +1 Sword and a +1 Flaming Sword are both +1 weapons in this case, just as both provide the same +1 bonus to attacks and damage.

herrhauptmann
2008-07-21, 01:44 PM
Cool, thanks tyckspoon.

Frosty
2008-07-21, 01:57 PM
If my party wants to sunder stuff. I let them. I just increase the treasure afterwards to make sure they are still at WBL. Simple.

Prophaniti
2008-07-21, 02:09 PM
I actually scared the crap out of a player in an epic campaign once because of Sunder. The (modified) Titan he was fighting realized that he was a really tough opponent and probably wouldn't win in a straigh trade-blows fight. But, if that really magic'd-up shield he was carrying where suddenly no longer a factor... two rounds later, that character was scrambling away from the Titan as fast as he could, begging the other party members to kill it before it could land one more blow on that shield.

So, yeah, I like sunder. I feel it's one of those under-used tactical options that, with a little care and luck, can completely change the course of the fight.

mostlyharmful
2008-07-21, 02:11 PM
Generally if i'm playing a caster that's needs a component pouch they'll have sixteen secreted about them for just this reason, likewise you can sunder the pretty silver holy symbol my cleric is waving around if you want but that doesn't really help since he has one stamped on his shield, one on his breastplate, one tatooed on his face and seven down his pants (always fun to pull out your magic symbol at parties:smallsmile:), for just this reason.

Sundering is one of those occasionally useful tactics that's not worth a feat unless you're a core-only fighter with a strong RP motivation for screwing up your parties WBL.:smallfrown:

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-07-21, 05:14 PM
One thing I enjoy as a spellcaster is pouring out a component pouch in my Handy Haversack. I have 3-4 others hidden(including an actual one in my HHH), but that is good for fighting repeated sunders and the like, as noone is crazy enough to try to sunder another dimension. :smallamused:

Pinnacle
2008-07-21, 05:24 PM
One thing I enjoy as a spellcaster is pouring out a component pouch in my Handy Haversack. I have 3-4 others hidden(including an actual one in my HHH), but that is good for fighting repeated sunders and the like, as noone is crazy enough to try to sunder another dimension. :smallamused:

But how do they even know that it's not a mundane backpack and that they shouldn't try?

Chronicled
2008-07-21, 05:26 PM
as noone is crazy enough to try to sunder another dimension. :smallamused:

You say this now. You haven't met a certain barbarian character of mine... :smalltongue:

Not to mention that:

Handy Haversack
A backpack of this sort appears to be well made, well used, and quite ordinary. It is constructed of finely tanned leather, and the straps have brass hardware and buckles. It has two side pouches, each of which appears large enough to hold about a quart of material. In fact, each is like a bag of holding and can actually hold material of as much as 2 cubic feet in volume or 20 pounds in weight. The large central portion of the pack can contain up to 8 cubic feet or 80 pounds of material. Even when so filled, the backpack always weighs only 5 pounds.

While such storage is useful enough, the pack has an even greater power in addition. When the wearer reaches into it for a specific item, that item is always on top. Thus, no digging around and fumbling is ever necessary to find what a haversack contains. Retrieving any specific item from a haversack is a move action, but it does not provoke the attacks of opportunity that retrieving a stored item usually does.

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Price 2,000 gp; Weight 5 lb.
Most characters aren't going to recognize that you're actually pulling your components out of a HHH.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-07-21, 06:32 PM
But how do they even know that it's not a mundane backpack and that they shouldn't try?They don't. However, my DM likes his sanity, and so far nothing has forced him to rule what would actually happen in that case. He'd like to keep it that way.

Prometheus
2008-07-21, 06:51 PM
I had a Devoted Defender who hid behind an adamantine tower shield. That was a time when people needed to learn to sunder whether they liked it or not.

If I were to give players incentives to sunder, I might give them beneficial effects for sundering a magic weapon (it blows up in the opponents face, gives them a temporal bonus).

I've considered a variant that would make missed attacks due to armor, shield, or parrying cause damage the relevant equipment as a side effect. Obviously, I extremely would raise hp and hardness of magic stuff in that case and/or give the melee fighters something to help balance it out. But in that scenario, Sundering feats would simply multiply the damage caused by this incidental object damage.

Chronos
2008-07-21, 07:03 PM
However, my DM likes his sanity, and so far nothing has forced him to rule what would actually happen in that case.He doesn't have to. The Haversack is stated to be like a Bag of Holding. The Bag of Holding (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#bagofHolding) states that
If the bag is overloaded, or if sharp objects pierce it (from inside or outside), the bag ruptures and is ruined. All contents are lost forever.
So yeah, getting your Haversack sundered would be a bad thing for you, but it wouldn't hurt your enemy at all, in the short run.


I've considered a variant that would make missed attacks due to armor, shield, or parrying cause damage the relevant equipment as a side effect.Not a bad idea for a computer-based game, but that kind of detail in a tabletop game requires way too much bookkeeping for most folks' tastes.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-22, 04:44 AM
He doesn't have to. The Haversack is stated to be like a Bag of Holding.
No, that's not right.
Handy Haversack

A backpack of this sort appears to be well made, well used, and quite ordinary. It is constructed of finely tanned leather, and the straps have brass hardware and buckles. It has two side pouches, each of which appears large enough to hold about a quart of material. In fact, each is like a bag of holding and can actually hold material of as much as 2 cubic feet in volume or 20 pounds in weight. The large central portion of the pack can contain up to 8 cubic feet or 80 pounds of material. Even when so filled, the backpack always weighs only 5 pounds.

While such storage is useful enough, the pack has an even greater power in addition. When the wearer reaches into it for a specific item, that item is always on top. Thus, no digging around and fumbling is ever necessary to find what a haversack contains. Retrieving any specific item from a haversack is a move action, but it does not provoke the attacks of opportunity that retrieving a stored item usually does.
Bag of Holding

This appears to be a common cloth sack about 2 feet by 4 feet in size. The bag of holding opens into a nondimensional space: Its inside is larger than its outside dimensions.
So a Heward's Handy Haversack has three compartments, each of which is like a Bag of Holding. But in what way?

Construction: no; sturdy leather isn't like easily pierceable cloth
Capacity: No, none of the compartments hold either the same volume or the same weight as any of the four types of Bag of Holding
Weight: No; again, not like any of the four types of BoH
Retrieval: No, the BoH provokes AoOs for retrieval, unlike the HHH
Nondimensional space: yes, that one matches.
Given that the Heward's Handy Haversack has hardly any of the same characteristics as a Bag of Holding, I wouldn't treat it as such when it comes to sundering damage. You'd have to have skimmed the description text in a hurry to make that mistake. :smallwink:

DigoDragon
2008-07-22, 06:59 AM
Forgery means you can get into any event, anywhere, because you have an invitation/degree/certificate/I.D.

This is true, my group has forged their way into a villain's ballroom party using fake VIP letters. They went for the free food, booze, and the cute evil chicks... oh and to stop the villain. :smalltongue:


Regarding the topic, I remember one encounter where the party cleric did manage to sunder the villain's notebook (Which contained his notes and maps on getting into this one cursed dungeon). That was semi-useful as now the party was able to get in and the villain could not.

Gorbash
2008-07-22, 07:03 AM
IMHO, Sundering is useful for DMs. When party is up against giants, you should definitely sunder a weapon or two. After all they have improved sunder... I wouldn't put it past me to use rust rays and similar stuff...

Kyace
2008-07-22, 05:12 PM
You could have the wizard or anyone else with high int repair sundered weapons post-battle. Having an important weapon is boring if you just treat it as a tool, if you can show how your character reacts to it's loss, the lengths they'll go to get it repaired. See Lord of the Rings and that comic over <--. Heck, if a character will drop a broken weapon and grab a new one, take the time to put up the weapon and draw a new one or continue the fight with the broken weapon (using the improved weapon rules) says a lot about them.

Chronos
2008-07-22, 06:15 PM
Given that the Heward's Handy Haversack has hardly any of the same characteristics as a Bag of Holding, I wouldn't treat it as such when it comes to sundering damage. You'd have to have skimmed the description text in a hurry to make that mistake.Well, obviously it would have a different hardness and HP and such. But the fact that they're both extradimensional storage spaces suggests that the same thing happens to their contents if they're torn open.

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-22, 07:04 PM
You could have the wizard or anyone else with high int repair sundered weapons post-battle. Yeah, but the sundered weapon is no longer magical. Considering a character might've invested half of his wealth in it, this can be a Very Bad Thing.

DM: The saber bursts into shards, the fiery magic locked within the blade undone.
P1: Ow, my livelihood!

Kyace
2008-07-22, 07:29 PM
I'm not seen any rules saying that, where is that from? Rules Compendium? By the Craft rules you seem to be able to repair so long as you 1) make a craft check and 2) pay 1/5 of the cost. Couldn't you pay 1/5 the total magic item's cost and spend more time to repair the weapon back to full power?

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-22, 07:58 PM
I'm not seen any rules saying that, where is that from? Rules Compendium? By the Craft rules you seem to be able to repair so long as you 1) make a craft check and 2) pay 1/5 of the cost. Couldn't you pay 1/5 the total magic item's cost and spend more time to repair the weapon back to full power?

Only if the item is damaged, not destroyed.

Kyace
2008-07-22, 08:35 PM
Only if the item is damaged, not destroyed.

Ah, I see that rule now, it wasn't in either the Sunder or the Craft sections but the Exploration section with the HP/inch and hardness rules.

It's not a perfect solution, but it could be conceivable that Sunder heavy characters could learn of NPCs willing to pay for 'parts' from sundered magic items, such as artificers with Retain Essence, or someone with a furnace that burns magic items for energy.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-23, 02:02 AM
Well, obviously it would have a different hardness and HP and such. But the fact that they're both extradimensional storage spaces suggests that the same thing happens to their contents if they're torn open. But which part of the Haversack gets torn open? There are three separate compartments, each opening into a separate, unconnected space.

It's just bookkeeping hassle and no fun at all if you have to treat a HHH as three separate items, and keep track of which possessions get stored in each of the three compartments. It's simpler, but logistically absurd to think that a single sword slice would traverse all three compartments simultaneously, destroying the three spaces in one swing.

My take on it: it's a different construction, and without explicit statement in the rules that it has the same piercing problem as a Bag of Holding, no such problem exists. Makes the game simpler both for players and DM.

Galdor Miriel
2008-07-23, 10:50 AM
I have a cleric with improved sunder, power attack, combat brute who wields a two handed adamantine sword and I think it is absolutely brilliant. he has strength coming out the wazoo and kicks butt completely.

I go through doors and walls like cheese
I hack enemies weapons then go to town on the face with my free attack
Who cares about treasure! I could not give two figs if I destroy loot, what matters is that we win the fight and save the world. If you are a hero act like one rather than a penny pincher.

Good examples were sundering has been super cool: arena fights where you do not get to keep weapons anyway!; Fighting hordes of low power creature, each one whos weapon you take out loses a full attack or a move action and you still get to attack them and maybe bring them down; and fighting a wizard with a staff or some such nonsense, hack it to bits then get the satisfaction of ruining their hard work as you cleave their head from their shoulders.

Obsessing about treasure is stupid, its the story that you make that counts the heroism, the battles, the fun. A good DM will always make the adventure a challenge, hopefully a fun challenge, so so what if you are a few coppers behind.

my two cents worth....

TheCountAlucard
2008-07-23, 12:51 PM
Who cares about treasure!

D&D NEEDS more players like you.

Worira
2008-07-23, 01:10 PM
Unfortunately, DnD works in such a way that treasure very directly equals power.

Vexxation
2008-07-23, 05:55 PM
Unfortunately, DnD works in such a way that treasure magic and treasure very directly equal power.

After all, treasure is just a way of getting magic into the hands of noncasters and even more magic into the hands of casters.

Starbuck_II
2008-07-23, 06:00 PM
Unfortunately, DnD works in such a way that treasure very directly equals power.

A party of VoP users could function sunder happy.

PanNarrans
2008-07-23, 06:09 PM
Sunder is second only to Mordenkainen's Disjunction and level drain for cruel DMs. Not that I'd ever be so petty as to want revenge on the powergaming munchkins, oh no...

Chronos
2008-07-23, 06:17 PM
But think of all those poor widows and orphans who are missing out on alms because you sundered that sword you could have sold and donated, instead!

Leewei
2008-07-23, 06:25 PM
Improved Sunder seems most useful against Things With Too Many Limbs. Hydras, Kraken, etc. all have special text describing how Improved Sunder can be used to destroy their heads, tentacles, etc. Mind you, this is still nowhere near as handy as outright killing with massive HP damage.

arguskos
2008-07-23, 06:39 PM
D&D NEEDS more players like you.
^^this.

Also,

A party of VoP users could function sunder happy.
^^this

Lastly, concerning this:

Sunder is second only to Mordenkainen's Disjunction and level drain for cruel DMs. Not that I'd ever be so petty as to want revenge on the powergaming munchkins, oh no...
True, but, who said D&D was about safety and niceness. No D&D game in the history of the universe (since I view D&D as a cosmological constant, much like gravity, stupidity, and taxes) has even been run on the idea of niceness, fluffy kitties, and love. It's all about danger, thrill, and being attacked by foul foes who don't pull their punches. The best punches are Sunder, Disjunction, and Level Drain, thus, I'm using them to their fullest. Call me a mean bastard if you want, but they sign up for danger, adventure, babes, and loot, and guess what? That means sunder, disjunction, and drain are all coming to the party too. If they're evil (or Chaotic Neutral, often mis-understood to mean evil) then they get these toys too.

-argus

Covered In Bees
2008-07-23, 06:47 PM
It's all about danger, thrill, and being attacked by foul foes who don't pull their punches. The best punches are Sunder, Disjunction, and Level Drain, thus, I'm using them to their fullest. Call me a mean bastard if you want, but they sign up for danger, adventure, babes, and loot, and guess what? That means sunder, disjunction, and drain are all coming to the party too. If they're evil (or Chaotic Neutral, often mis-understood to mean evil) then they get these toys too.

-argus

Wow, constantly having your magic items ruined sounds like a BLAST. Sign me up. Wooooooooooo.


(PROTIP: There's a difference between Hard and Nintendo Hard.)

arguskos
2008-07-23, 07:03 PM
Perhaps you misunderstand me. I don't hammer on those few tools like an idiot, but neither do I shy away from them like other DM's I know. They're abilities in the game for a reason: to be used, not to be ignored.

Besides, sundering the fighter's weapon can and does create quests, such as getting it fixed, which takes a trip to the famous weaponsmith, etc...

Out of curiosity though, why so caustic about it? :smallconfused:

-argus

Patashu
2008-07-23, 07:23 PM
What if it was a world/campaign where it would be unlikely/impossible to sell/exchange off things you don't need?

Curmudgeon
2008-07-23, 08:43 PM
Just as treating a Heward's Handy Haversack like a Bag of Holding with respect to piercing (sundering) makes the game more tedious and less fun, I regard Mordenkainen's Disjunction as the most fun-sucking of all spells.

MD only gets used at high levels, when successful adventurers are brimming over with magic items. I've seen a game grind to a halt for two hours of real time bookkeeping, as every single magic item was looked up in its original source book to see if it had a better save than the wielder. This is particular tedious for Rogues, who rely greatly on tools to get the job done -- and typically have the skills to acquire lots of magical tools. But Rogues have sucky Will saves, so there's real incentive to make sure they're using the better saving throw modifier for all their gear when faced with MD.

Two hours. Straight. Trying to remember which source book each magic item came from, looking it up, figuring out the better Will save, and rolling. Repeat many dozens of times. Break for arguments about whether you roll for items in nondimensional spaces first, or roll in random order, and what the consequences are if each particular type of container fails (because the container is turned into a "normal" item, not pierced or destroyed). Rogues take a breather while spellcasters argue over their Boccob's Blessed Book, and the consequences of going from 250 spells available to only 1 (Read Magic) when the previously magic Book can no longer physically contain 1,000 pages of parchment in its 1" thickness.

Bleaah!

Chronos
2008-07-23, 10:36 PM
Rogues take a breather while spellcasters argue over their Boccob's Blessed Book, and the consequences of going from 250 spells available to only 1 (Read Magic) when the previously magic Book can no longer physically contain 1,000 pages of parchment in its 1" thickness.Ooh, that's a good one... Does it turn into a normal-sized book with only a few hundred pages (and if so, which ones?), or does it remain a book of 1000 pages, but expand out to be a massive tome? Either way, are there still any spells in it, or not? Is the magic only in writing the spells at lower cost, or is it in maintaining them on the page despite the lack of costly inks?

Kyace
2008-07-23, 10:57 PM
Two hours. Straight. Trying to remember which source book each magic item came from, looking it up, figuring out the better Will save, and rolling. Repeat many dozens of times.

Really, a smarter way to have done this would have been to roll saves for all items using the welder's Will marking the saving rolls on the items that failed, then letting the player hunt down the saving throws for the items that were the closest/highest level later. If they turned out to have a better saving throw, then use the mod on the pre-existing roll. Treat the items as having failed until shown otherwise and the player can look up the items they need now first then look up the rest between games.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-24, 04:24 AM
Really, a smarter way to have done this would have been to roll saves for all items using the welder's Will marking the saving rolls on the items that failed, then letting the player hunt down the saving throws for the items that were the closest/highest level later. More efficient, perhaps, but efficiency is irrelevant to a player when their character -- even provisionally -- has to go without a large collection of items because their container may have failed its save. Bags of Holding, Heward's Handy Haversack, Quiver of Ehlonna, Portable Hole, Belt of Many Pockets, Glove of Storing, Glove of the Master Strategist, Wand Bracelet, crossbow with the quick loading property -- the list goes on and on. Nobody is going to be willing to write off all the contents of a container when it's not required. Think about it: would you risk character death in a ranged battle because your crossbow, loaded with thousands of gp worth of expensive magic bolts for all occasions, might no longer have access to the space holding all those bolts? Forcing a dedicated missile attacker to run hundreds of feet to close for melee because their crossbow's status is in doubt is just absurd.

No, the game will of necessity grind to a total halt until every player is absolutely certain which items no longer have magical properties, and what the consequences are for each and every item. And that's a totally reasonable response, given that each item probably is the result of an hour or more of game time. Magic items represent just too big an investment in playing that character to be blasť about.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-24, 04:47 AM
Ooh, that's a good one... Does it turn into a normal-sized book with only a few hundred pages (and if so, which ones?) A few hundred pages? A few dozen is too many. A normal-sized spellbook only holds 50 sheets of parchment (100 pages) and those 50 sheets weigh 3 pounds. A compact Boccob's Blessed Book won't hold many pages at all. Remember, this is scraped animal skin, not paper. The thinnest sheet is about 10 times as thick as normal paper.

Boccob's Blessed Book has fixed dimensions:
This well-made tome is always of small size, typically no more than 12 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. All such books are durable, waterproof, bound with iron overlaid with silver, and locked. When you subtract iron and silver bindings from the 1" thickness I'd be surprised if you could get 10 layers of animal skin in what's left. So that's not more than 20 pages total.

Mordenkainen's Disjunction doesn't say anything about resizing magical objects when it makes them "normal items", so I wouldn't assume anything of the sort. You're going to go from 1,000 pages to not more than 20, and you're going to have to argue with your DM about whether any of those pages have ink on them afterward. :smallfrown:

Chronos
2008-07-24, 01:16 PM
Mordenkainen's Disjunction doesn't say anything about resizing magical objects when it makes them "normal items", so I wouldn't assume anything of the sort. You're going to go from 1,000 pages to not more than 20, and you're going to have to argue with your DM about whether any of those pages have ink on them afterward.It would depend on how precisely a Blessed Book is made. Do I make a normal book with a small number of pages, and then magically add more pages to it, or do I make a really fat book with all of the pages in it, and then magically squish it down to a manageable size? In other words, what is the mundane item base of a Blessed Book? Whatever that mundane item is, that's what you're left with after Disjoining it.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-24, 09:43 PM
It would depend on how precisely a Blessed Book is made. Do I make a normal book with a small number of pages, and then magically add more pages to it Yes, that's the one. The clue you need is this:
Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret page; Price 12,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
The Secret Page spell lets you add more virtual pages without increasing the number of physical pages. So when the Book becomes a normal item you're back to the pre-magic quantity of pages -- a very small total.

Chronos
2008-07-25, 02:53 PM
Well, magic items don't necessarily work the same way as the spells used to create them, but I'll buy that argument, since it's stronger than any argument I can come up with for the other interpretation.

Irreverent Fool
2008-07-25, 11:08 PM
A few corrections...

(Forgery is instantaneous, and you may always take 20, even if you have only a vague idea what the document should look like)

As much as I wish this were true...



Action
Forging a very short and simple document takes about 1 minute. A longer or more complex document takes 1d4 minutes per page.



Take 20
Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes twenty times as long as making a single check would take.


Granted, 20 minutes to forge a document is certainly worth the 20 minutes or 20d4 minutes per page if you can afford the time (an average of 50 minutes). It also makes plenty of sense to take that long. (Don't forget the bonus for having the original!)



RE: Fixing broken magic items using Craft
Only if the item is damaged, not destroyed.

You are right in regards to Craft skills, but you can still fix a broken magical weapon.



Craft Magic Arms & Armor
You can also mend a broken magic weapon, suit of armor, or shield if it is one that you could make. Doing so costs half the XP, half the raw materials, and half the time it would take to craft that item in the first place.


Someone else mentioned that a giant or somesuch smashed the fighter's shield. We were recently up against a similar predicament. After smashing the enemy's tower shield, it became much easier to land hits on him. We found out later that it was a +2 Tower Shield, which my wizard was able to repair fairly quickly. Result: -6 to the enemy's AC for the duration of the encounter (which is quite a bit at any level, especially level 6) and no option to take cover for the meager amount it cost to repair the shield. No loot was lost.

It can be a sub-optimal choice in combat and I understand that in general there are feats that can be more effective more often, but it's certainly not a BAD choice.

Curmudgeon
2008-07-26, 10:33 PM
Well, magic items don't necessarily work the same way as the spells used to create them, but I'll buy that argument, since it's stronger than any argument I can come up with for the other interpretation.
Yeah, the point when the argument starts is figuring out which 20 of your 1,000 pages remain. My take would be that the virtual pages get added to the physical pages with an even distribution, so you'd only have pages 1, 51, 101, 151, ... -- and probably only your page 1 cantrip represents a complete spell. :smallannoyed:

A wizard without a spellbook is like a decade without sunshine.

krossbow
2008-07-26, 10:36 PM
Generally i end up using sunder as a Economic balancing tool in my campaigns.

If it looks like they're going to get through the campaing unscathed, with no real monetary loss, no one dead, and tons and tons of treasure, i send in a wave of 10 low level mooks and 2 or 3 high level ones who's only role is sunder the **** out of the PC's equipment.

This makes them both more vulnerable to the mooks, and serves to inflict lastng harm upon them.