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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    I'm a bit disappointed with the new warforged (Rising from the Last War). I mean, it's not terrible, it's still a solid race, but it seems like they took out some of the more fun aspects. I was told there would be modularity, but the end result actually has fewer options than before. So... I thought I'd try to bring back some modularity by expanding on the envoy's integrated tool into a general Integrated Items ability.

    The following feature could be appended to the existing warforged found in RftLW, but it might be more balanced if it replaced Specialized Design. Apologies in advance for the length.

    Integrated Item
    Due to your constructed nature, you are able to make modifications to your body to integrate items into it. If the item is a weapon, shield, or tool, you must be proficient with that item to integrate it. You have a number of slots for integrated items equal to your proficiency bonus.

    Integrating items is a long and involved process. It commonly requires crafting complex machinery, modifying your existing body to accommodate the new item, imbuing that item with the same magic that gives you life, and practicing with your newly integrated item to insure it is working correctly and to get adjusted to its use. You must spend an 8 hour period to integrate an item, to remove an integrated item, or to replace one integrated item with another. This time does not count toward a long rest.

    Integrated items gain the following benefits:
    • While not in use, the item can be retracted into your body, concealing it.
    • The item cannot be removed except by force. A creature attempting to remove an item by force must make a Strength (Athletics) check with a DC equal to your Strength score + your proficiency bonus, dealing bludgeoning damage equal to the result on a success. Alternatively, they can choose to make one of their attacks with disadvantage, and the attack must hit and deal damage greater than your Constitution score + your level. In either case, if successful, the apparatus that connects the item to your body is destroyed, allowing the item to be removed.
    • Once on each of your turns, you may extend one of your integrated items without using an action. This can't be an item you've retracted on the same turn.

    Integrating an item does not affect the number of hands you need to hold or use that item. An extended item is generally treated as if you were holding it in your hand, preventing you from using that hand for other tasks.

    When integrating an oversized item, you are able to modify that item to make it collapse or fold up, and parts of the item might protrude from your body while retracted (the item is still concealed, as its nature is not apparent in this state). You can also use a bit of magic similar to that used in a bag of holding to create some extradimensional space to fit oversized items inside your body. However, all of these methods have their limits, and the DM has the final say on if an item is simply too big to integrate. DMs are encouraged to err on the side of permissiveness, and to allow at least one oversized item to be integrated into the warforged's chest cavity.

    Dispensers
    Consumable items and weapons with the thrown property work differently when integrated. Instead of integrating the item itself, you instead create a dispenser for that specific type of item. You can then load up to three items of that type into the dispenser. When you draw or pick up an item, you can load it into a dispenser as part of the same action, otherwise you may load a held item as an item interaction. Items loaded into a dispenser gain all the same benefits as integrated items, shown above. You can launch items from a dispenser, which is the same as throwing the item. Consumable items can be discarded once they are consumed, and you can also unload and stow an item as an item interaction.

    When you extend a dispenser, you are treated as if you were holding everything loaded into the dispenser in a single hand. This allows you to, for example, throw three darts, assuming you are able to make three attacks. You could also drink three potions without needing to spend additional item interactions to retrieve them from your pack. This doesn't qualify for two weapon fighting, as you must be holding each weapon in a separate hand.

    While a dispenser is generally tailored to a specific type of item, you can also make a special dispenser that can load any type of bottle, flask, or vial into it. This allows you to load any item that can be contained in a bottle, flask, or vial, such as potions, poisons, oil, ink, acid, or holy water.

    Instead of integrating another item, you can spend that time and integrated item slot to expand a dispenser to carry three more items.

    Ammunition Weapons
    If you integrate a weapon with the ammunition property, you can load up to five pieces of ammunition into it, as with a dispenser. This does not allow you to ignore the loading property on the weapon, if it has it, but it does extend the benefits of integrated items to that ammunition.

    I've made it intentionally difficult to swap items out, making them semi-permanent while still allowing you to switch things around if you do change your mind. Fortunately, warforged don't need to sleep, so any time the party takes a long rest and you don't need it, you can spend that time switching an item instead.

    A neat aspect of this is that you can recreate the envoy by integrating a tool, or somewhat recreate the juggernaut by integrating a weapon. Integrating different items allows you to create quite a varied theme for your character, and is a good way to add flavor. Ropes, block and tackle, battering rams, shovels, hammers, grappling hooks, and so on and so forth. There's a lot of ways to use this feature.

    Would you use this? Would you allow it at your table? What would you change?
    Last edited by Greywander; 2019-12-15 at 08:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    This looks cool! My first question is: if I integrate a block and tackle, will that increase my carry capacity? Second: If I'm storing a liquid, do I have to store 3 vials, or can I integrate a larger tank if I want to just dispense the liquid?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    Perhaps changing the limit on integrated items to 1/2 proficiency bonus instead? Especially with the additional object interactions having up to six items/dispensers could get wonky. If not, it might be best to have two-handed weapons take up two slots at the very least.

    How do shields work with this system? Would the "no action or bonus action required to draw/stow" include donning/doffing one? That would make it possible to use a Greatsword or Longbow for your attacks, then switch to a sword and shield at the end of your turn, giving you the best of both worlds in terms of defense and offense/range. Or perhaps using PAM/GWM with a glaive from 10 feet away, then switching to spear and shield, adding to your defense and forcing the enemy to approach you, triggering an opportunity attack.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-12-14 at 11:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    Quote Originally Posted by Phhase View Post
    This looks cool! My first question is: if I integrate a block and tackle, will that increase my carry capacity?
    My first impression is to say, no, it would act identical to a regular character who was carrying a block and tackle. But a block and tackle would probably need to have one of the pulleys anchored to the ceiling above whatever you're lifting, and if it is integrated then it's anchored to you, instead. So it would probably let you lift things up that are below you.

    For example, say you have a character who is good at climbing (Thief rogue, for example). You could scale a sheer cliff, then lower a rope to lift your party members up without them needing to make climb checks. You could also hoist unconscious party members up ladders, or just generally lift heavy things up to you. While this might seem niche at first glance, I think this is something that a creative player could find a lot of use for. You could literally be the guy who lifts entire bank vaults up to the roof and walks off with them.

    TL;DR, it would have no effect on carry capacity. You could hoist things up from below you, but you couldn't just pick something up and lift it over your head.

    Second: If I'm storing a liquid, do I have to store 3 vials, or can I integrate a larger tank if I want to just dispense the liquid?
    You mean like... a barrel?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Perhaps changing the limit on integrated items to 1/2 proficiency bonus instead? Especially with the additional object interactions having up to six items/dispensers could get wonky. If not, it might be best to have two-handed weapons take up two slots at the very least.
    Maybe? I'm not sure I understand your reasoning for suggesting this. Are you worried about it being too strong, or too complex? And I'm not really sure why you think two-handed weapons should use two slots, especially when there are plenty of items larger and heavier than any weapon. Could you elaborate more on these points?

    One thing I'd be worried about is that players would stop at integrating "obvious" items, like weapons, shields, and spell foci. With more slots, they're basically forced to find useful items to fill those slots, which I'm hoping may foster some creativity. Remember, at 1st level they'll only have two slots, so it shouldn't be overwhelming to new players.

    How do shields work with this system? Would the "no action or bonus action required to draw/stow" include donning/doffing one? That would make it possible to use a Greatsword or Longbow for your attacks, then switch to a sword and shield at the end of your turn, giving you the best of both worlds in terms of defense and offense/range. Or perhaps using PAM/GWM with a glaive from 10 feet away, then switching to spear and shield, adding to your defense and forcing the enemy to approach you, triggering an opportunity attack.
    This is actually a good point. I'd say this behavior was intentionally, but I suppose I hadn't fully thought through the implications. Mostly, I just wanted a character who could walk around without carrying a shield everywhere, and still be able to draw both a weapon and shield on round 1.

    I think a better way of handling this might be to strike that last bullet point entirely, and replace it with something along the lines of, "Once on each of your turns, you may extend or retract one integrated item without using an action." This way, the shield still requires an action to don or doff normally, but you can use the free extend/retract to don the shield on the same turn you use your normal item interaction to draw a weapon. If you wanted to doff the shield, attack with a greatsword, then don the shield again, this becomes impossible, since you only get one free extend/retract per turn, and you've already used your action to attack.

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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    I assume you can't use a normal object interaction to extend/retract an item? If you can't, that along with the one-extend/retract limit should be sufficient to remove most of the problematic interactions.

    This would still however allow you to start combat with a shield up and a greatsword in one hand (since you only need two hands on it to attack with it), then retract the shield to attack, effectively giving you +2 AC against anyone who beats you in initiative on the first turn. Then you can raise the shield at the end of your next turn, meaning as often as every other turn you can have +2 AC at the cost of losing opportunity attacks. Alternatively, if you have high dexterity, you could start with the shield retracted and extend it at the end of your first turn.

    To illustrate how this might affect balance, you could look at it as an ability. "At the end of your turn, you may choose to gain a +2 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn. Until then, you cannot make attacks of opportunity. Once this ability ends, you cannot use it again until your next turn". This I think would be considered pretty strong on a race that already gives extra AC, and it's just a single thing you can do with this ability.

    As for the limit, I don't think it's critical, but when it comes to two-handed weapons, it's a matter of bulk. It makes no sense for a pike to take up as much space as a dagger, no matter how much telescoping techno-nonsense is involved.

    Which brings up another problem. There's no limit on the size and weight of objects you can integrate. Theoretically you could have six wagons stowed away in there, which the rules should probably be designed to prevent. At the very minimum there should probably be a weight limit of 20 pounds, which is enough for any weapon and pretty much any item that would be reasonable to fit inside a Warforged. Maybe 25 pounds if you think it's reasonable to fit a 10 foot ladder in a robot's chest cavity.
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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    I assume you can't use a normal object interaction to extend/retract an item? If you can't, that along with the one-extend/retract limit should be sufficient to remove most of the problematic interactions.
    If this were the case, then you'd want an integrated shield and a non-integrated weapon, so that you could don the shield and draw the weapon at the same time. I don't think there should be a downside to integrating an item, so I'd say you could still extend or retract an item the same way you would normally draw/stow/don/doff that item, in addition to the free extend/retract. So you could, for example, use your free extend/retract to sheathe your weapon, cast a spell with your now-free hand, then use your regular item interaction to draw/extend the weapon again.

    If you're worried about this, then it should be sufficient to specify that you can't both extend and retract the same item on the same turn.

    This would still however allow you to start combat with a shield up and a greatsword in one hand [...]
    Yeah, I can see the problem with that. Hmmm... Maybe the free extend/retract should be changed to a free extend only. You can still pop out both a weapon and shield on round one, but putting the shield away still requires an action.

    I'm worried that this might start getting too complicated, but I think it's not too bad so far.

    As for the limit, I don't think it's critical, but when it comes to two-handed weapons, it's a matter of bulk. It makes no sense for a pike to take up as much space as a dagger, no matter how much telescoping techno-nonsense is involved.
    It's true that it's somewhat of a gaming abstraction. If you wanted to try to rationalize it, you could say that it's not so much the size, but about coordination. Using a limb requires a certain amount of coordination, regardless of the limb's size, so adding extra arms, legs, or wings eventually gets to a point where your brain can't coordinate them all at once. Warforged might have something similar when it comes to integrating items.

    Theoretically you could have six wagons
    Boi, you're thinking small time. Try six warships.

    But I see what you mean. I think the easiest way to handle this is to remove or change the effect where you ignore the item's weight. If you're a buff robot, you have more space to store things.

    Which is a shame, because I liked the idea of integrating a portable ram so you could ignore the weight of the ram. That thing is heavy, and I can see most parties never bringing one because of that.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    I mean, even if you assume the warforged is especially tall, you've still got to fit that pike into a space that's at most a meter long? Since you can't really put objects in joints, your largest available space is the torso.

    Carrying a portable ram isn't prohibitive mechanically. 35 lbs is less than heavy armor, and less than 15% of the carrying capacity of a Str 16 character. Considering the benefits a ram offers, I think that's a fair trade.

    One more issue, what about containers? Could you, for example, put a large number of objects inside an integrated container, then stow the container? Could you put people in there? That could allow you to smuggle just about anything anywhere.
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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    I mean, even if you assume the warforged is especially tall, you've still got to fit that pike into a space that's at most a meter long? Since you can't really put objects in joints, your largest available space is the torso.
    I think this calls for telescoping techno-nonsense. I kind of figure you maybe modify the pike so that it can fold up, but if you un-integrate the item or it gets ripped out, it somehow turns into a normal pike? Also, this would be very impractical for a real weapon, as adding flexible joints would reduce the weapon's strength and make it easier to break. But eh, it's fantasy.

    Carrying a portable ram isn't prohibitive mechanically. 35 lbs is less than heavy armor, and less than 15% of the carrying capacity of a Str 16 character. Considering the benefits a ram offers, I think that's a fair trade.
    This might either be me just tending to not build STR characters, or me typically opting to use variant encumbrance. Under variant encumbrance, a STR 8 character can only carry 40 lbs before penalties apply. So maybe that's why it seems really heavy to me.

    One more issue, what about containers? Could you, for example, put a large number of objects inside an integrated container, then stow the container? Could you put people in there? That could allow you to smuggle just about anything anywhere.
    You could, but you have to extend the container to take things out or put things in. Not really viable in combat, but out of combat it could be useful. Keep in mind that even a backpack can only hold 1 cubic foot/30 lbs. I guess you could integrate a chest for 12 cubic feet/300 lbs. Or, you know, a bag of holding.

    See, the problem is that yes, it's probably not realistic to allow a warforged to integrate six chests, but I don't particularly want to start adding all kinds of rules about what you can or can't integrate, or size/weight restrictions (especially since most items don't list a size), and whatnot. I think it's probably fine to leave it up to the DM to adjudicate what might be too big to integrate. This is D&D 5e, not GURPS, and while GURPS is good for what it does, it has a completely different design philosophy from D&D 5e. At most, I think a note that you can't integrate an item bigger than you are, or that you can't physically fit inside of you, should be sufficient, without specific limitations.

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    Default Re: Warforged modularity with Integrated Items

    I've updated the description of the ability.

    Integrating an item no longer nullifies the weight of the item. This should cut down on the most egregious examples of integrating oversized items.

    I changed the "extend/retract items as an item interaction" and "extra item interaction" to the following:
    • Once on each of your turns, you may extend one of your integrated items without using an action. This can't be an item you've retracted on the same turn.
    This should still allow you to, say, switch weapons quickly, but most shenanigans that involve putting an item away to do something, then taking the item back out afterwards should be dealt with.

    Added this to the description to help rationalize integrating oversized items and making it clear that the DM has the final say.
    When integrating an oversized item, you are able to modify that item to make it collapse or fold up, and parts of the item might protrude from your body while retracted (the item is still concealed, as its nature is not apparent in this state). You can also use a bit of magic similar to that used in a bag of holding to create some extradimensional space to fit oversized items inside your body. However, all of these methods have their limits, and the DM has the final say on if an item is simply too big to integrate. DMs are encouraged to err on the side of permissiveness, and to allow at least one oversized item to be integrated into the warforged's chest cavity.

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