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    Lightbulb Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    I'm not sure if anyone has tried this in 4e yet, but I thought V deserved to have her/his signature spell somewhere in 4e.

    Vaarsuvius' Explosive Runes

    "I prepared explosive runes this morn -"

    Level: 4
    Category: Warding
    Time: 1 hour
    Duration: 24 Hours OR Until Discharged
    Component Cost: See below
    Market Price: 175 gp
    Key Skill: Arcana

    Use this ritual to leave behind a deadly message for those who would follow you, or to play a dangerous prank on a rival or bitter enemy. When the ritual begins, select a language that you can read and write fluently. No others may assist you or participate in this ritual. At the ritual's end, select a surface nearby. You a sentence that includes the words "Explosive Runes" in the language you selected at the beginning of the ritual upon this surface. The first creature to read and understand the written text activates an explosion whose size and power are dependent on your Arcana check. You can never discharge this ritual, and upon completing the ritual, you may designate any number of allies who also cannot set off the ritual. Also, any of these designates are not harmed by the explosion should another non-designate set it off in their presence. Roll an Arcana check. Use the following "table" to determine the most powerful runes you can create. You cannot create Runes you cannot afford, and you may not make runes of a level higher than your Arcana check dictates, even if you could afford it.
    Arcana check = PL*10.

    {table]PL 1 Explosive Runes: | 40 gp | +5 to attack | 1d10 damage | close burst 1
    PL 2 Explosive Runes: | 200 gp | +10 to attack | 2d10 damage | close burst 2
    PL 3 Explosive Runes: | 1000 gp | +15 to attack | 3d10 damage | close burst 3
    PL 4 Explosive Runes: | 5000 gp | +20 to attack | 4d10 damage | close burst 4
    PL 5 Explosive Runes: | 25, 000 gp | +25 to attack | 5d10 damage | close burst 5
    PL 6 Explosive Runes: | 125, 000 gp | +30 to attack | 6d10 damage | close burst 6[/table]

    PL = Power Level
    Last edited by Shadow_Elf; 2009-02-21 at 06:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Cool, maybe you should add "you can choose to make the burst smaller than the indicated size"


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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    I don't know a darn thing about balance, but I think this is a smoothly executed 4e conversion. I applaud!

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Being able to change the Blast radius is a good idea.

    Also, for every 10 above 40 you score on your Arcana check, you increase damage by 1d10 and Burst by 1. So a 41 would do 5d10, as would a 50. Also, if you drink some crazy potion of being awesome at Arcana or something, you could score a ridiculous damage score. Does a Natural 20 do anything for rituals (i.e. Max Damage). Because if so, it would be an automatic 40 or 20+Bonus, whichever is higher.

    Thanks, I hope my DM isn't too stingy and let's me use this in our campaign. I'll have to take a few Languages feats to use it really well though.
    Last edited by Shadow_Elf; 2008-08-17 at 10:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Stealing a trick from the Alchemy rules, here is a variant:

    Explosive Runes
    Category: Warding
    Time: 1 hour
    Duration: Until Discharged
    Key Skill: Arcana

    This is a family of rituals, as descibed by the following table:
    Code:
    Level  Price     Components   Attack         Damage
    4      200           50 gp    +7 vs Reflex   Burst 2, 2d6 damage
    9      1000         250 gp    +12 vs Reflex  Burst 2, 3d6 damage
    14     5000        1200 gp    +17 vs Reflex  Burst 3, 4d6 damage
    19     24,000      6000 gp    +22 vs Reflex  Burst 3, 5d6 damage
    24     120,000   30,000 gp    +27 vs Reflex  Burst 4, 6d6 damage
    29     600,000  150,000 gp    +32 vs Reflex  Burst 4, 7d6 damage
    To use any of the above rituals, you inscribe a passage of text embedded with secret runs in a language you know how to write.

    Anyone spending an action (or actively reading the Runes) to read this text risks setting off the runes. They make a Perception or Arcana skill check opposed by your Arcana roll when you inscribed the runes, where the ritual caster gains a +10 bonus. Characters searching for runes also make such a skill check, and failure also sets off the Runes.

    Typically, the Runes are inscribed in such a way that they can only be read from within the blast radius (writing size, etc).

    On success, the reader is tipped off that something is wrong, and they can stop reading. On failure, they trigger the runes.

    The runes deal half damage on a miss.

    The runes may damage the object they are mounted on, or the object they are mounted on can be immune to the damage, at the option of the inscribing ritualist.

    Multiple explosive runes placed in close proximity do not work. If there are two explosive runes within 10' of each other for an extended period of time (days), the weaker of the two fades. (A higher-level explosive rune is stronger, and an explosive rune with a higher arcana check is stronger. If both are tied, pick randomly.)
    Last edited by Yakk; 2008-08-17 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Stealing a trick from the Alchemy rules, here is a variant:

    Explosive Runes
    Category: Warding
    Time: 1 hour
    Duration: Until Discharged
    Key Skill: Arcana

    This is a family of rituals, as descibed by the following table:
    Code:
    Level  Price     Components   Attack         Damage
    4      200           50 gp    +7 vs Reflex   Burst 2, 2d6 damage
    9      1000         250 gp    +12 vs Reflex  Burst 2, 3d6 damage
    14     5000        1200 gp    +17 vs Reflex  Burst 3, 4d6 damage
    19     24,000      6000 gp    +22 vs Reflex  Burst 3, 5d6 damage
    24     120,000   30,000 gp    +27 vs Reflex  Burst 4, 6d6 damage
    29     600,000  150,000 gp    +32 vs Reflex  Burst 4, 7d6 damage
    To use any of the above rituals, you inscribe a passage of text embedded with secret runs in a language you know how to write.

    Anyone spending an action (or actively reading the Runes) to read this text risks setting off the runes. They make a Perception or Arcana skill check opposed by your Arcana roll when you inscribed the runes, where the ritual caster gains a +10 bonus. Characters searching for runes also make such a skill check, and failure also sets off the Runes.

    Typically, the Runes are inscribed in such a way that they can only be read from within the blast radius (writing size, etc).

    On success, the reader is tipped off that something is wrong, and they can stop reading. On failure, they trigger the runes.

    The runes deal half damage on a miss.

    The runes may damage the object they are mounted on, or the object they are mounted on can be immune to the damage, at the option of the inscribing ritualist.

    Multiple explosive runes placed in close proximity do not work. If there are two explosive runes within 10' of each other for an extended period of time (days), the weaker of the two fades. (A higher-level explosive rune is stronger, and an explosive rune with a higher arcana check is stronger. If both are tied, pick randomly.)
    I have not yet read the Alchemy rules (I'll get right on that tonight or tomorrow). I like the idea of its power going up with Check result, rather than paying for more expensive versions, however. Also, the thing about being within 10' of each other does not really fit with how V uses it. S/he has been known to string several of them together in close succession as a prank on Belkar.
    However, you made a really good point about the attack. The explosion needs to be dodgable! (did I spell that right?) Maybe 1/2 Arcana check is the bonus to the Attack vs. Reflex?
    I.E. A roll of 18 + 11 for the bonus is 29, so its a +14 attack vs. Reflex in a close burst 3 centred around the text, dealing 3d10 on a hit and half on a miss.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    *nod*, the "they drain each other" is aimed at removing the 3e exploit of "I cover everything in explosive runes".

    I'm tempted to remove the "half damage on a miss", as an aside.

    The increasing cost for more powerful versions also prevents rune-spam. A rune powerful enough to seriously harm a high-level character shouldn't be dirt cheap -- otherwise, you just use an entire novel of explosive runes, and quickly read them all, and break the game.

    In short: something that attacks someone else should have a cost that scales with the level of the effective attack.

    The idea of stealing the Arcana Check for the attack roll is decent -- but tricky. 4e skill checks don't scale at all like combat roles (I honestly think they screwed this up). My version doesn't make the Arcana skill check important enough.
    Last edited by Yakk; 2008-08-17 at 02:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    The main thing stopping you from "spamming Explosive Runes" is that it takes 1 hour (600 Rounds) to cast. Not the kind of thing you REALLY have time to make 10 of when you want to quickly drop a trap for someone tracking you who is only a couple hours behind and gaining. The casting time makes it of somewhat limited use, but perhaps an Eladrin who Reveries for their 4 hours and then prepares some ER while the rest of the party sleeps could potentially abuse it. Also, there's the issue of being pursued by creatures who do not read any of your laguages, or pursuers who do not read at all.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Consider the following: # of rituals that deal damage yet published: 0.

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    The text should be able to say whatever you want it to, V just uses that phrase for humor value.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Deleran View Post
    Consider the following: # of rituals that deal damage yet published: 0.
    Incorrect! You can drop someone into the bottom of a passwall spell you create in the ground and let it close on them, dealing 5d10 damage and spitting them out if they survive. It may not expressly do damage, but its great if you want the guy your interrogating who's @ 1hp to give you everything you need in under a minute The idea behind rituals is to use them in creative ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    The text should be able to say whatever you want it to, V just uses that phrase for humor value.
    S/he did mention at one time that, if spelled incorrectly, Explosive Runes would not work. Not sure if s/he was joking or not, since they weren't spelled wrong and worked.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Elf View Post
    S/he did mention at one time that, if spelled incorrectly, Explosive Runes would not work. Not sure if s/he was joking or not, since they weren't spelled wrong and worked.
    He told that if you misspell "Explosive Rune", it doesn't work. Everything else is context. So, "I like the smell of Explosive Rune at morning", would work.

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio II View Post
    He told that if you misspell "Explosive Rune", it doesn't work. Everything else is context. So, "I like the smell of Explosive Rune at morning", would work.
    Very true.

    Also, I think this ritual would be a great fail-safe to install in your spellbook incase it is stolen.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Elf View Post
    The main thing stopping you from "spamming Explosive Runes" is that it takes 1 hour (600 Rounds) to cast. Not the kind of thing you REALLY have time to make 10 of when you want to quickly drop a trap for someone tracking you who is only a couple hours behind and gaining.
    No. Rather, in the 2 months between adventures down time, you make an assload of them on paper strips.

    Basically, the damage potential of this kind of ritual scales upwards, but the costs don't really.

    Also, there's the issue of being pursued by creatures who do not read any of your laguages, or pursuers who do not read at all.
    It doesn't have to solve all problems to be broken. It just has to be way too good.

    The issues is that you have a dirt-cheap ritual that generates epic-level, possibly in-combat, damage.

    Up the price so that it is a significant portion of your wealth to do epic-level damage at epic-levels, then it cannot be used cheaply to kill demon princes. The low-level ritual remains the same for dealing with low-level opponents, but cost ramps up if you want a trap that would take out a demon prince. . .

    Increase the damage dice in my proposal to d8s, and remove the half damage on miss clause, and maybe scale the costs down by some factor.

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Maybe it has a material cost based on power (some rituals, such as Make Whole, do). The more fire-power you pump into it with your Arcana check, the more it costs to make. So, the roll represents the highest level of power you can create, and you can make a rune that is a weaker power level.

    My Suggestion:
    PL 1 Explosive Runes: 40 gp, +5 to attack, 1d10 damage, close burst 1
    PL 2 Explosive Runes: 200 gp, +10 to attack, 2d10 damage, close burst 2
    PL 3 Explosive Runes: 1000 gp, +15 to attack, 3d10 damage, close burst 3
    PL 4 Explosive Runes: 5000 gp, +20 to attack, 4d10 damage, close burst 4
    PL 5 Explosive Runes: 25, 000 gp, +25 to attack, 5d10 damage, close burst 5
    PL 6 Explosive Runes: 125, 000 gp, +30 to attack, 6d10 damage, close burst 6
    PL X Explosive Runes: *5 gp the previous level, +(5*X) Attack, Xd10 damage, Close burst X

    So, if I roll a fluky 55 on my Arcana check, but I only have 40 gp in Arcane components, I can still only make a PL 1 Explosive rune.

    Having a bunch on paper strips is useless. The explosion from the first one would burn all the others up without detonating them. They also require to be read to activate. You can't make an enemy read them all at once and set them all off simultaneously.

    I think we can keep half damage on a miss if we use this.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Remember, the time to create them means less than the ratio between the creation time and the duration they can be stored.

    Time: 1 hour
    Duration: Until Discharged
    And in this case... it is infinite. Ie: the 1 hour ritual time is more fluff than any real impediment to abuse.

    ...

    The "higher level ritual" thing was just to create the same ratio of "fixed price to per-use price" at all levels. By the time you hit the next "tier", the previous level of explosive runes is pretty trivial.

    ...

    You might have to do the "100 peasants, each with a piece of paper, running in one after the other" thing to effectively use 100 low-level explosive runes. :-)

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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Remember, the time to create them means less than the ratio between the creation time and the duration they can be stored.

    And in this case... it is infinite. Ie: the 1 hour ritual time is more fluff than any real impediment to abuse.
    Maybe 48 hours OR Until Discharged, whichever happens first. V usually uses them within 24-48 hours of preparing them. That way, you can't create a bunch in "game time" down time. Also, preparing one or two in town before you leave to use in combat is dumb, since forcing an enemy to read a slip of paper or a book probably provokes attacks of opportunity. Also, a sign that has Explosive Runes inscribed on it is useless, as the explosion may not even reach far enough to hit the reader.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Its better to increase the damage more. Base the main expresion on check with + damage for better arcane components. The damage should scale like that of a high trap.

    Write the flavor so that it's not spammable, i.e that it can only be used on an anchored surface or that you can only have x sets of runes at time or that they can only be so close together, etc.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    ^ I'm not sure I understand. If you've only read the first post, then please read the thread. I will edit the first post as soon as I am happy with the final balancing.
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    Default Re: Explosive Runes (4e). PEACH

    Ok, first post edited to reflect changes. Unless there are any more suggestions about balancing, I believe the conversion is complete.
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