Magnor Criol

2008-10-31, 02:29 AM

Hey, y’all. I know this looks like a lot of reading, but it's really not; much of it builds on itself.

I've come up with an idea for a weapon enhancement that weaves in chance and the elements. More precisely, I came up with four variations on the idea, and I need help.

I don't know much about item enhancement pricing, caster levels, or general balancing. So I'd like to get y’all’s feedback on the options. By getting opinions on what each is worth, I can a) decide which one I want to use, and b) get a better idea of what determines values.

Wild Elemental weapon: On a successful critical hit, a wild elemental weapon deals 1d4 damage of a random elemental type, determined by rolling a d6 and comparing with the table below:

d6 roll | Element / Effect

1 |Acid

2 |Cold

3 |Electricity

4 |Fire

5 |Sonic

6 |Elemental Surge

Rolling a 6 unleashes a chaotic elemental surge.

....and that's where your opinions come in. What I'm looking for:

What's the viability of each option? Are any of them broken, breakable, unworkable, etc?

About what level do you think this option sets this enhancement at? (i.e. +1 bonus, +2 bonus, etc.)

What CL-to-create do you think each one represents?

About what character level is each one appropriate for - i.e., at what level can I equip a PC with this and not be unbalancing, or a BBEG and not slay the PCs?

Which one do you like best?

...remember, each one builds on the last, so it's really not as much reading as it looks like.

Option 1: Single split

Elemental surge: Roll twice more, rerolling any more 6s. 1d3 damage of each type.

Option 1 is the simplest, and the weakest. Its extra damage caps at 2d3 max. (The split could be made even simpler on-table by just rolling 1d6 and splitting the damage evenly between the two types.)

Option 2: Finite split chain

Elemental surge: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1d3 damage of that type.

6: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1d2 damage of that type.

6: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1 damage of that type.

6: Roll again. Continue rerolling any more 6s.

Option 2 has more bookkeeping to think about, but rewards good luck by continuing to split the damage; this not only allows more damage, but introduces more chaos, and is generally more fun (in my opinion), since there’s a lot more outcomes. For instance, you might deal an extra 1d3 fire, 1d2 acid, 1 sonic, and 1 acid damage (Rolls - 4, 6=>1, 6=>5, 1). It’s not that powerful, since its max extra damage is still 16 points of various elemental damage.

Option 3 is the same as Option 2, but it doesn’t stop - even at 1 damage, a roll of 6 splits, dealing 1 of each type (or another split). It has the potential to deal huge amounts of damage (in tiny, tiny increments) if the roller is incredibly lucky – or has some way of controlling the rolls. But the chances of rolling chains long enough for substantial amounts of damage are so incredibly small, I don’t think it’s really a risk. So is this really a difference from Option 2? Only at high improbabilities. Does this justify higher limits?

Option 4 is the strongest by far, combining options 1 and 3 – no reduction in damage past the first step, and no limit on how many can be rolled. Still, it only increases in increments of d3, and only very lucky characters have a slim chance of breaking something.

A couple other quick questions: How much (bonus-wise, CL-wise, balance-wise) does it change things if the ability is not unleashed on a crit, but instead some other trigger - a certain number of times per day, for example? What if there was some sort of check to be able to control the result, one that got more difficult each "tier" you descended? What if you added elements - make it a d8 roll, add in positive and negative energy to the mix, make a roll of 8 trigger a surge?

Thanks in advance, y’all. I really appreciate your time and feedback.

-E- You'd think, just once, I could get this off without a typo. Curse my perfectionism...and the early morning hours. =p

I've come up with an idea for a weapon enhancement that weaves in chance and the elements. More precisely, I came up with four variations on the idea, and I need help.

I don't know much about item enhancement pricing, caster levels, or general balancing. So I'd like to get y’all’s feedback on the options. By getting opinions on what each is worth, I can a) decide which one I want to use, and b) get a better idea of what determines values.

Wild Elemental weapon: On a successful critical hit, a wild elemental weapon deals 1d4 damage of a random elemental type, determined by rolling a d6 and comparing with the table below:

d6 roll | Element / Effect

1 |Acid

2 |Cold

3 |Electricity

4 |Fire

5 |Sonic

6 |Elemental Surge

Rolling a 6 unleashes a chaotic elemental surge.

....and that's where your opinions come in. What I'm looking for:

What's the viability of each option? Are any of them broken, breakable, unworkable, etc?

About what level do you think this option sets this enhancement at? (i.e. +1 bonus, +2 bonus, etc.)

What CL-to-create do you think each one represents?

About what character level is each one appropriate for - i.e., at what level can I equip a PC with this and not be unbalancing, or a BBEG and not slay the PCs?

Which one do you like best?

...remember, each one builds on the last, so it's really not as much reading as it looks like.

Option 1: Single split

Elemental surge: Roll twice more, rerolling any more 6s. 1d3 damage of each type.

Option 1 is the simplest, and the weakest. Its extra damage caps at 2d3 max. (The split could be made even simpler on-table by just rolling 1d6 and splitting the damage evenly between the two types.)

Option 2: Finite split chain

Elemental surge: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1d3 damage of that type.

6: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1d2 damage of that type.

6: Roll twice more. For each roll:

1-5: 1 damage of that type.

6: Roll again. Continue rerolling any more 6s.

Option 2 has more bookkeeping to think about, but rewards good luck by continuing to split the damage; this not only allows more damage, but introduces more chaos, and is generally more fun (in my opinion), since there’s a lot more outcomes. For instance, you might deal an extra 1d3 fire, 1d2 acid, 1 sonic, and 1 acid damage (Rolls - 4, 6=>1, 6=>5, 1). It’s not that powerful, since its max extra damage is still 16 points of various elemental damage.

Option 3 is the same as Option 2, but it doesn’t stop - even at 1 damage, a roll of 6 splits, dealing 1 of each type (or another split). It has the potential to deal huge amounts of damage (in tiny, tiny increments) if the roller is incredibly lucky – or has some way of controlling the rolls. But the chances of rolling chains long enough for substantial amounts of damage are so incredibly small, I don’t think it’s really a risk. So is this really a difference from Option 2? Only at high improbabilities. Does this justify higher limits?

Option 4 is the strongest by far, combining options 1 and 3 – no reduction in damage past the first step, and no limit on how many can be rolled. Still, it only increases in increments of d3, and only very lucky characters have a slim chance of breaking something.

A couple other quick questions: How much (bonus-wise, CL-wise, balance-wise) does it change things if the ability is not unleashed on a crit, but instead some other trigger - a certain number of times per day, for example? What if there was some sort of check to be able to control the result, one that got more difficult each "tier" you descended? What if you added elements - make it a d8 roll, add in positive and negative energy to the mix, make a roll of 8 trigger a surge?

Thanks in advance, y’all. I really appreciate your time and feedback.

-E- You'd think, just once, I could get this off without a typo. Curse my perfectionism...and the early morning hours. =p