Dragon 392 - Bazarr of the Bizarre

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It's a crosspost from the Article Errata, but part of it has nothing to do with errata and more a general Question about uncommon Potions so I wanted to further discuss it here...

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While I like the Ideas of these Items, they are all WAY too good. All these Potions have an encounter long BIG advantage at a very low cost (like 20 Gold for +3 Speed and AC Bonus vs Opportunity Attacks).

If you don't play with the Common/Ucommon Rules (I don't think many will suddenly ban all the Shops in the middle of a Campaign) than these are gamestoppers.

By the way how are you supposed to give them out? The new treasure-tabels are for usuall magic Items, the players would be very dissapointed if I would give out a potion instead of a regular item (Consumables are not even worth a tenth of a non-consumable) like a weapon and you cannot buy uncommon Potions anymore...
baumi, Thank you for creating this thread.  I've linked to this thread as the official Discussion Thread for the article.  However, if you create more threads, please try to use the standard format.  Thank you.

Dragon 392
Bazaar of the Bizarre: Illumian Echoes

by Robert J. Schwalb

Though the illumians are now gone, their works remain. Great treasures linger in secure vaults all across the White Desert.

Talk about this Article here.

392_bob_illumian_echoes.jpg
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Sorry, but I couldn't find any official Thread for the Article. What should I have done differently?
I have to agree with the OP. 200gp for encounter long +6 untyped bonus to damage? Yes, please. Heck, for 20 gp a low level character could have +2 to initiative checks once a day (which is way cheap for an item that isn't expended when used that way).

The more expensive ones are awesome too. 650 for regen 10 all encounter (strictly better than the level 19 potion of regeneration which is 4200 and only works when you're bloodied). 4200 to only take half-damage from (nearly) all attacks, all encounter. 17,000 to (nearly) ensure that you make every saving throw for the whole encounter.

All awesome, and all of these are going to make my DM regret his decision to try to ignore the rarity rules and still let us craft uncommon items.
Sorry, but I couldn't find any official Thread for the Article. What should I have done differently?

Making the thread was fine.
The only thing you should have done differently was that the first post of a discussion thread should be formatted as mine was.  We use the following format.

Article name, linked to the article's page.
Author's Name

Short description

'Talk about this Article/Preview/Editorial/etc here.'

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Thanks for the explanation!
a pleasant article.  however, i do have one suggestion:

these are words (syllables, to be exact) of creation.  their requirement should be "you must be able to speak primordial or supernal," not abyssal.  not only did the demons have nothing to do with the creation of the world, but, thematically, demons are associated with destruction, not creation.  so, the current requirement seems quite inappropriate.

sure, demon lords might have spawned certain races, but primordial is MUCH more appropriate.
Thanks for the explanation!

Anytime. Let us know if you have any other questions.
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Primordial vs. Abyssal: Let me direct you to Rules Compendium page 69, where it says Primordial "has none of the special qualities of supernal." Then look at the next page under Words of Power, where it says "[Supernal and Abyssal] also include words of power--words whose syllables contain the raw magic of creation... or primordial evil."

Balance: If you choose to ignore the magic item rarity rules that's your decision of course, but understand uncommon and rare items are going to be more powerful since the DM controls their acquisition. I just simply cannot imagine these items lying around in a dusty artificer's shop, waiting for a passing adventurer to plunk down his/her 200 gp.

@ Baumi: to keep the erata thread clean, i´ll just repost my answer here and delete the original one.

They are all WAY too good. All these Potions have an encounter long BIG advantage at a very low cost.

If you don't play with the Common/Ucommon Rules (like most Campaigns at the moment) than these are gamestoppers. 


This is their new concept of item creation. They freed themselfs from the necassity to create balanced items, instead they introduced the new rarity system and pushed the responcibility to the DM by making him the "master of all noncommon items".

  • Is this system better than the one we had before? Probably not.

  • Does it make the game easier for new players? Unless you are a DM, yes. If you are the DM: Get prepared, for if there are items in your game that break it, you are now the only one to blame.

  • Will this introduce more items? Most likely yes. If you dont have to worry about balancing anymore, you can dish out allmost anything you have in mind.

  • Will this system be changed once we detect weaknesses/errors? Rather unlikely, for WotC tends to leave coreelements untuched for some time unless they are horribly broken. But there will most likely be many homebrewed rules out there, fore many DMs dont like this as far as i know.


By the way how are you supposed to give them out? The new treasure-tabels are for usuall magic Items, the players would be very dissapointed if I would give out a potion instead of a regular item (Consumables are not even worth a tenth of a non-consumable) like a weapon and you cannot buy uncommon Potions anymore...


You can probably hand them out instead of gold when calculating loot, while using the level of the item to determine if your party is supposed to have it yet.
I resommend to hand this items out rarely, maby each character might have one ore two at a time. Somewhat like a measure of last resort they can use if it is one of this days you seem to be rolling only 1´s and your enemys allways crit on you.
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This is the first classification of "uncommon" I have agreed with (outside of the few obviously OP items).  It would be silly if PCs could just use a level 5 ritual to create words of creation.  Considering the power level here, it would also be game breaking. 

These fit perfectly into my new campaign though, and I will be finding a way to get them in.  I've already introduced the words of creation and power as a story device.  Giving that a stronger mechanical tie will be very cool by sprinkling a couple of these in. 
As a DM, I would not allow these to be items that you could buy.  Instead, the PCs might find some ancient tomb encrusted with a word of power, or perhaps gain it from a dream, or something else difficult to for them to recreate.  You don't find them in Ye Ol' Magic Shopee.
But if these are are the baseline for the new uncommon potions, why are all the previous Potions (all except the healing ones) now uncommon?
Primordial vs. Abyssal: Let me direct you to Rules Compendium page 69, where it says Primordial "has none of the special qualities of supernal." Then look at the next page under Words of Power, where it says "[Supernal and Abyssal] also include words of power--words whose syllables contain the raw magic of creation... or primordial evil."


thank you for the cite.  i do not as yet own the rules compendium.

personally, i disagree with wotc's selection of abyssal instead of primordial.  to me, it is inconsistent with the canonical history of the planes.
My first thought when I read the article was that it's clear item acquisition is no longer in the player's hands.

Since item dailies are no longer tied to milestones, buying/creating four or five of the +2 initiative items would be a very inexpensive unslotted way to gain an initiative bonus every encounter. It is simply assumed the DM will not hand these items out like candy, and the PC's can't create these items.

This simple assumption of the "intelligent moderating DM" can be tough for some groups, but should be perfectly fine for the majority.

These items work great with the new system, but I do worry about the risk of a non-restricted campaign letting players snag them willy-nilly.

Maybe a built-in restriction that one can only possess one Word of Creation at a time? The idea that when one is acquired, it floats around your head all Illumian-style, and you can't get a new one without displacing the first one?


Anyway, as always, an article with a lot of flavor that could really have used another round of editing to balance the mechanics. I hope something is done to ensure these items don't get abused, other than just relying on the Uncommon tag to balance out items that are far more powerful than is appropriate for their level.


Because if that is the result of the new system, we'll honestly end up with the worst of both worlds.

An "intelligent, moderating DM" can, of course, fix just about anything.  My question is, why should that be neccessary?  These 'items' are neat, sure - but the only thing that seems to make them "uncommon" is that they are set at inappropriate levels.  An item of level 10 that produces the effect of a level 26 permanent item is out of whack.  I do think that consumables need to give effects a few levels above their own level (i.e. a consumable could give an effect as for a permanent item 3-5 levels higher) - but 16 levels discrepancy is just too much!

Look at Elixir of Speed - a level 11 item that is in all ways inferior to Syllable of Grace, and reportedly an "Uncommon" item.

I'm deeply disappointed if this is what we can expect of the new "Uncommon" and "Rare" items - basically items that could have been published before, but at a far lower level than is appropriate.  A simpler approach to this would have been to just say "go ahead and give the party items 10-15 levels above the party level" - they would be impossible for the party to make with Create Magic Item rituals (as they would be too high a level), they would give more cash if sold (because they would be higher level) and they would give "wow" factor (because, well, they are far higher level...).
======= Balesir
Primordial vs. Abyssal: Let me direct you to Rules Compendium page 69, where it says Primordial "has none of the special qualities of supernal." Then look at the next page under Words of Power, where it says "[Supernal and Abyssal] also include words of power--words whose syllables contain the raw magic of creation... or primordial evil."


thank you for the cite.  i do not as yet own the rules compendium.

personally, i disagree with wotc's selection of abyssal instead of primordial.  to me, it is inconsistent with the canonical history of the planes.




Isn't Abyssal actually the language of Devils; fallen angels?

Or is it just my brain that has turned it into 'Dark and Twisted Supernal''

Edit> Ahhh, I stand corrected its "Abyssal is a form of Primordial warped and twisted by the evil at the heart of the Abyss"
Aka: Tharizdun.

So I was right kinda, Abyssal must be a kinda amalgam of Supernal and Primordial,  twisted and foreign but containing the raw defining force that Supernal has.
Isn't Abyssal actually the language of Devils; fallen angels?

Or is it just my brain that has turned it into 'Dark and Twisted Supernal''

Edit> Ahhh, I stand corrected its "Abyssal is a form of Primordial warped and twisted by the evil at the heart of the Abyss"
Aka: Tharizdun.

So I was right kinda, Abyssal must be a kinda amalgam of Supernal and Primordial,  twisted and foreign but containing the raw defining force that Supernal has.



Heart of the Abyss is the shard of evil that came from an ancient and dead world. Thrazidun is just the person who put it there, so it doesn't likely that it really has anything to do with Supernal.
Tharizdun is chained in the heart of the Abyss, so its always possible he is responsible in truth for abyssal.  Otherwise there are implications about Supernal and its true origins.
Well, the compiled version of Dragon is out and these items are unchanged

Notice is served to all DMs; no longer can you pick items that players 'wish' for or that look like a neat fit for them - you have to consider carefully the downstream implications of every item you "allow" in "your" game.  New non-common items, in particular may be totally out of whack - beware...
======= Balesir
Tharizdun is chained in the heart of the Abyss


No, he's not.  Tharizdun created the Abyss when he threw the Shard of Evil into it, but he was later captured by the gods and chained up somewhere very secret.  I doubt that they put him in the Abyss.
Tharizdun is chained in the heart of the Abyss


No, he's not.  Tharizdun created the Abyss when he threw the Shard of Evil into it, but he was later captured by the gods and chained up somewhere very secret.  I doubt that they put him in the Abyss.



On the other hand, that'd be the last place you'd look for him, right?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
is this article actually up because I get page can not be found in IE, Firefox and Chrome. I have cleared out my files, and logged out and back in. Nothing!
is this article actually up because I get page can not be found in IE, Firefox and Chrome. I have cleared out my files, and logged out and back in. Nothing!


Works for me.

*shrugs*
is this article actually up because I get page can not be found in IE, Firefox and Chrome. I have cleared out my files, and logged out and back in. Nothing!



Try again now.

It only worked for me about two or so hours ago. Before that I had the same problems that you did.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
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