Personal weapon growth

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Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

Some of my players have written up great back stories for the new PCs. The backgrounds include personalized weapons and I think it would be cool to allow he weapons to "grow" with the PCs. As a different way to do magic items.

So I was thinking of a way that I could do that. Here are some of the things I thought of:
1. XP cost - the player gives up some of his experience and imparts it into the item to "unlock" some power.
2. Level base - the item gains a power at a specified level as long as the PC is using it for the majority of the time.
3. Trigger effect - a power manifests after some kind of trigger happens.
4. Combo - some combination of the 3.

Now, this will not replace magic items, but would be a fun way to have players become attached to their items and not rely so much on a "magic item economy."

Anyhow, just spit balling some ideas. Any/all thoughts welcomed.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by jdizzy001 »

I'm a fan of trigger effects. Blessings from deities, blood of mythical animals, tempering the weapon by smiths from different cultures. Stuff like that.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

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jdizzy001 wrote:I'm a fan of trigger effects. Blessings from deities, blood of mythical animals, tempering the weapon by smiths from different cultures. Stuff like that.

I'm in this camp too, but I'd add a dash of #2 to round it out ...
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Treebore »

Its been done. Think WOTC did a whole 3E book dedicated to the idea. I want to say it was called "Legacy Weapons" or some such. Plus others have done things along these lines as well.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

Treebore wrote:Its been done. Think WOTC did a whole 3E book dedicated to the idea. I want to say it was called "Legacy Weapons" or some such. Plus others have done things along these lines as well.
I was looking at that book, but it's mainly a feat & level driven. I've seen Earthdawn mentioned as having a simple system for this, but my pdf's are at home, so I have to wait to look at those rules.

I was just hoping that someone had thought about this and made up some rules I could look at.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Treebore »

There was a system idea introduced in this module that I have always been partial too, but never actually used...


http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15686.phtml
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Lord Dynel »

There may have been a Dragon magazine article that did something like this...I'll see if I can dig it up. I think I remember XP investment being a factor.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by alcyone »

I loved the idea when Legacy Weapons came out. It didn't really work the way I wanted it to, but the idea is great. Especially with a fighter specializing. It was especially powerful in a 3.5 world full of magic shops, where every cool weapon you'd drop for the characters would instantly get evaluated and then sold if it didn't meet the needs of their build. I like the idea of there being a reason to develop a bond with the weapon.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Go0gleplex »

Lord Dynel wrote:There may have been a Dragon magazine article that did something like this...I'll see if I can dig it up. I think I remember XP investment being a factor.
Yup. There was a Dragon article on this. And for the most part it was a trigger type effect. I want to say the cover was one of the chessmen series...pretty sure it was before issue 100 either way.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Lord Dynel »

Go0gleplex wrote:
Lord Dynel wrote:There may have been a Dragon magazine article that did something like this...I'll see if I can dig it up. I think I remember XP investment being a factor.
Yup. There was a Dragon article on this. And for the most part it was a trigger type effect. I want to say the cover was one of the chessmen series...pretty sure it was before issue 100 either way.
See, I thought there was one back in the 2e era, too. I swear I remember it. In fact, I swear my old DM used it. I was so convinced that I called him and asked, and he remembered it, but can't remember the issue. Of course.

I did find one from Dragon #289. It's pretty good, and does pretty much the same thing. It's worth checking out.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Go0gleplex »

I probably have the article in my "keep it" binder over in storage. I know I went through and stripped out all the ones I used or were good references from my collection before I moved and chucked everything in an effort to conserve space.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

Thanks guys, I'll check them out.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Relaxo »

That sounds totally cool!
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Aramis »

What I would do is start with how many levels you want the campaign to go. You seem to prefer to cap around 10th. Then you have your range and can slot in a newly revealed benefit every couple of levels. Then every character would settle on a signature item. Not necessarily a weapon. For the wizard it could be his staff. For the rogue it could be his cloak.

Then write out a rough list of improvements for each that follows the arc previously settled on. So, for the cloak it might be something like:

+1 to AC, permanent endure elements, , +1 to saves, hidden carrying capacity like a small bag of holding, +5 to Hide checks (complete)

There's a 5 slot arc over the 10 character levels of the campaign. If you want more powers over the 10 levels, add in what suits.

Even though we've designed it to tie the arc into levels, I would have each power trigger, around about when the character does a big thing tied into a power. So the hiding might kick in after a brilliant stealth success, the carrying capacity after an extraordinary heist etc.

The problems with such an approach are: 1) each item is kind of a minor artifact at the end of the process with all the combined powers 2) having so many PCs and so many triggers would be madness for the DM to keep track of which triggers when

Or you could drop the signature item thing and advance various items on each character's person

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Lord Dynel »

Yeah, Aramis has a pretty good idea.

Circling back to that Dragon article, that's pretty much what it does, but you have to invest XP into the weapon. Meaning, if you get 500 XP, you can "give" the weapon some of that XP and it gains "levels" just like you would. I think there might be a restriction on how much you can give it (my DM said only 10% of XP gained per session), but it worked out okay.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Relaxo »

Isn't the Book of Familiars doing something like this? Like, not all familiars are animals, some are things? am I confabulating that?
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

Relaxo wrote:Isn't the Book of Familiars doing something like this? Like, not all familiars are animals, some are things? am I confabulating that?
I just picked this up the other day and really haven't had time to go through it yet. But know I have a reason to dig into it.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Captain_K »

I would go with the CK controls, only the castle keep knowns the times, they are not predictable and some are combat and some are flavor. Have the oddest game events be the trigger for your inspiration. Our whole party could not hit one last lone goblin hiding in fear behind his shield backed against a tree.. 8 attacks could not kill him... that shield became a shield of total defense.. "+6 to AC when in total defense and down to less than 6 hp." Events as simple as "the thief drops his dagger, it falls to the stone and slaps soundlessly...." CK to Thief PC.. your dagger is now silent, it makes no noise within 1" radii of itself... then later that power expands as the thief concentrates on silence to up to a 5' radii.. pretty good for a back stab in silence... and other odd traits like it becomes jet black and reflects no light or is always warm to the touch or floats in water.. or the blood from an assassin's blade that just killed heals the drinker (lick I guess) by d4 hit points... make them odd, flavorful and fully unique to the PC, world and weapon/item.. might also be fun NOT to have it be their prime weapon.. make their coffee pot, bedroll, tin cup or walking stick or utility knife become powerful....
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rhuvein »

jdizzy001 wrote:I'm a fan of trigger effects. Blessings from deities, blood of mythical animals, tempering the weapon by smiths from different cultures. Stuff like that.
Yep.

I had used blessings from or prayers to deities in my FTF game to enhance weapon power. The players really enjoyed the benefits!

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Re: Personal weapon growth

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Aergraith wrote: I loved the idea when Legacy Weapons came out. It didn't really work the way I wanted it to, but the idea is great. Especially with a fighter specializing. It was especially powerful in a 3.5 world full of magic shops, where every cool weapon you'd drop for the characters would instantly get evaluated and then sold if it didn't meet the needs of their build. I like the idea of there being a reason to develop a bond with the weapon.

I have the legacy books in pdf, but I agree with that . To much crunch and too many feats involved.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

I'm still looking into this. As I think it will help cut down on magic item creep in the game. I did find an article in Dragon 181 called "More Magic for Beginners" that was interesting.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

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So, during the game last night, Aramis' PC called out to his god by invoking the use of his main weapon (a bow). He has a good backstory as to why the bow has a name and it's purpose. In a flash of inspiration, I noted his good roleplaying. At the end of the session, I rolled a d1000, giving him a 1 in 1000 chance that something good would come from invoking his god's blessing in using the bow. I explained what I was doing and hope that it will foster better roleplaying from the group.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

Aramis brought this up in the game thread. I wanted to move it here so ew didn't clog up that threat and these ideas could be in one place.
Aramis wrote:Thinking about the special properties trigger rule a bit further, Rigon, a few ideas.

If we apply a flat d1000 to the attempt, it will be pretty rare. If this game goes to 10th level, say 4 sessions (8 weeks) per level. Say we have 8 players and each gets 2 attempts per session. My limited arithmetic says that is less than 1000 rolls over the course of the whole campaign. So 1, maybe 2 spontaneous items over the course of the campaign.

Which is not unreasonable at all if you want it to be a very rare event. But, players being players and dungeons being dungeons, players will soon be ditching their "signature" items for newly found weapons and shields as they find better ones

Maybe you want to make the odds more situational. And maybe something that emphasises when characters do something either awesome or cinematic So for my shot there, where I needed a hit to save the fallen barbarian, the chance should be small. But if I was on my horse and chasing a runaway carriage and had to shoot a rope to stop it before it goes off the cliff, and I roll a natural 20, then that would have a much higher chance of activating something special (maybe the CKG advantage of sharpshooter, or something else appropriate)
This was my response to his post above.
Rigon wrote:This popped into my head when I was looking an old Dragon article from the late 80s on hero points. What if you earned "hero points" through a combination ways? You could apply these hero points to improving items such as weapons, armor, rings, etc. You basically "spend" the points to bond/awaken/whatever your signature items.

What do you guys think?

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Treebore »

I like the Hero Point idea, depending on how often they can be earned, and how many would be needed to cover "costs", etc... If its so slow I am more likely to make it to 9th or 12th level and just custom enchant my own items before getting a "Hero" weapon thats just as good, then I don't see a point, except for non spell casters, which is probably how it should be anyways, to give non spellcasters the ability to bond and improve their favorite weapons. For spell caster types, you may want to look at allowing those classes to bank the hero points to eventually be able to craft Artifact/Relic level weapons/armor/items. Which would explain how they come about without being crafted by the gods themselves.

The 1 in 1,000 rule is so unlikely I don't feel like even trying to make it work.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Personal weapon growth

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Treebore wrote:I like the Hero Point idea, depending on how often they can be earned, and how many would be needed to cover "costs", etc... ...

The 1 in 1,000 rule is so unlikely I don't feel like even trying to make it work.

I agree with tree on the Hero points depending on the frequency of getting them and the cost to upgrade an item. That said, I have no idea on where the proper balance should be soooooo Ghostrider you have the ball ...

For the 1 in a K rule. I like the idea of supporting good role playing, but like tree says, those odds are so low that it will likely never happen - I doubt that stops us from role playing any way but ...
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

As for frequency, I'll probably give them out for good role play, maybe a hot streak with the dice, stuff like that. For cost, that would be the thing that would need to be worked out. I want it to be useful enough to use, but not so plentiful that you all are running around with tons of magic. Stuff to think about.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

And the d1000 roll was just a chance roll. Something I wanted to do to reward good roll play. I probably need to think about Barleig actions. Charging into overwhelming odds and taking crazy damage should be rewarded, since it was character related.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

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Rigon wrote:And the d1000 roll was just a chance roll. Something I wanted to do to reward good roll play. I probably need to think about Barleig actions. Charging into overwhelming odds and taking crazy damage should be rewarded, since it was character related.

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Rgr, but like I said, that guaranties I'll NEVER play a barbarian! I'd argue that his leap is more deserving of points than the blood bath he ran himself into. That jump was awe inspiring, and it forced me to do a jump of my own - A Bravo worth his salt can't let a half blood orc look cooler then him ! :lol:
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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Rigon »

So, I was thinking that maybe I don't want you guys to know how many "hero points" you have. That way, I can control the rate of growth for your items. Still trying to figure this stuff out. I wish there was a good source out there that covered this better than the feat systems from 3e, the thing that is 4e, or 5e's attunement (though, this is closest to how I want it to work). I've been scouring Dragon Magazines trying to find anything that is close, but I haven't been able to. I'll keep thinking and looking around.

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Re: Personal weapon growth

Post by Treebore »

Know what the best way is? Just decide when its time, based upon whatever criteria you think matters. It is your game, and your world, after all. So such things should occur when you deem them appropriate. So just let us players know such things can occur, then tell a given player if/when it does occur. No need to explain why. They probably wouldn't know why any ways. Just like any "Miracle". You probably never have any idea as to why, only that it happened.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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