Bag of Blades: A Guide to Off-Hand Properties and Free Action Item-Swapping

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Bag of Blades

A Guide to Off-Hand Properties and Free Action Item-Swapping




Many magic items have useful or interesting properties and powers, but they see little use in play because they must be wielded or held to be activated. Drawing and stowing items tanks action economy, so it's usually best not to bother. But with a minimal investment of resources, characters can draw and stow items as free actions, allowing unlimited swapping during any combatant's turn, or even in the middle of other actions.

This marks the return of a popular character archetype: the gadgeteer, who always has the proper tool in hand for whatever situation he or she encounters. This guide details the options available for characters who like to be prepared for any contingency.


Special Considerations



  • The most important feature of a weapon or implement for most characters is its enhancement bonus. But since we'll never attack with items we're only holding in hand for a moment or two, enhancement bonus is rarely important. Most properties and powers don't scale with item level, so we want the lowest level (and therefore cheapest) version of an item that we can get away with.

  • Some items are only useful when they can be whisked into hand at any time. But others require activation on your turn. These can be useful to any character looking for a small boost, as long as they're willing to burn the necessary actions.

  • Since swapped items are essentially slotless, the opportunity cost for using them is much lower. Our concerns are typically limited to the actions required for activation and price.


Rarity


Since the release of D&D Essentials, magic items are now given rarities. By default, common items are available for purchase, but uncommon and rare items are only available if the DM gives them as treasure. This can make your item choices subject to the whims of the DM.

 My personal recommendation to DMs is to ignore rarities and let players buy whatever items they want. The change creates more headaches than it solves.
 As a side effect of this change, magic item daily uses are no longer limited. However, characters are also limited to a single copy of any magic item, regardless of enhancement bonus or item level.


The Ratings System


Throughout this guide, I will use the standard Char Op ratings system. All ratings assume that the item is being used by a character with an appropriate build and the proper proficiencies. If an item has properties or powers that scale with enhancement bonus, it is denoted with a plus sign (+) after the item level. I'll note whether those higher-level versions are actually worth the exponential increase in price.

Gold: This is a must-have item for the appropriate build. You need to have a good excuse not to buy it.

Sky Blue: This is a fantastic item. It is one of the best purchases you could possibly make.
Blue: A good choice. It is better than the average item, but not exceptional.

Black: An average item. You can certainly do better, but you won’t be ruining your character by choosing this.

Purple: A poor choice. It isn’t completely worthless, but you should really get something better instead.

Red: Worthless, or completely overshadowed by another item.

Cheese Factor
Simply put, if you don't like the idea of weapons and implements leaping into hand of their own accord, don't use it. Personally, I picture hands filled with smoking wisps of darkness, ephemeral shapes made solid for brief moments by a stern will. Or great warriors raising thick fists, calling forth shining weapons from the aether, like Zeus grasping thunderbolts from thin air. YMMV. Either way, many of the items listed here can be used by any character to great effect.

Acknowledgments


Souillard for Let's Accessorize: The Item Guide, from which I stole some of this introductory text.
Mellored for Holy Symbols for the Non-Divine (as there are no rules for swapping holy symbols or ki focuses, they are outside the purview of my guide).
You!

Bear with me while I figure out formatting and reserve posts.

Methods



There are many options for getting items into hand, all with different opportunity costs. Of course the simplest is to use a minor action to draw a sheathed weapon or an item from your pack. This requires a free hand, but only two-weapon combatants, dual-implement spellcasters and heavy shield users should have an issue with that. But many classes just don't have minor actions to spare, and this method precludes the use of items with occasionally useful properties or powers that can't be used on your turn.

Feats


Arcane Familiar (AP) Requires an arcane class. The disembodied hand familiar (and it's paragon upgrade, the Rakshasa Claw) offer the only true, at-will, unlimited item swapping in the game. At any time, as often as you want, draw or stow an item, implement or weapon, enabling scenarios like this one:

Typical scenario
Graeme is a 16th level Artificer with a Rakshasa Claw familiar and a Farbond Spellblade longsword. After resting, Graeme holds a Wolfen dagger in one hand and a Rhythm Blade dagger in the other. He gains +2 to perception and +1 to AC and Reflex.

Suddenly, lurkers none of the party noticed drop from the ceiling, getting a surprise round. Graeme uses the daily on his Wolfen dagger and none of the party is surprised. Instead, all combatants roll initiative. Since no one is surprised, everyone can take actions.
Free action: sheathe Wolfen dagger.
Free action: Draw Quicksilver dagger+2, increasing his initiative by 2. But some of Graeme's companions roll poorly for initiative. The dice are against them.
Free action: sheathe Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Staff of the Discerning Watcher and allow the entire party to take 10 on initiative.
Free action: sheathe Staff of the Discerning Watcher.
Free action: sheathe Quicksilver dagger.
Free action: draw Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Defensive Staff. Grame now has +1 to AC, Fortitude and Will and +2 to Reflex.

Even with his increased defenses, one of the lurkers hits Graeme, grabbing him. He can't use his ranged powers without provoking and he can't maneuver properly to boost allies with Magic Weapon. But he has several options. Being neither strong nor dexterous, an escape check is unlikely to succeed. He could draw his Staff of the Traveler and his Mithrendain Steel longsword to turn his normal shift into a teleport 2, but he wants to get farther away from the action than that. Instead, he sheathes his Rhythm Blade and Defensive Staff and draws his Rod of the Feywild and his Incisive Dagger. As a move action, he uses the encounter power of the Rod of the Feywild to teleport 5 squares, which his +2 Incisive Dagger increases to 7 squares, allowing him to place himself adjacent to several allies. Sheathing those, for the first time, Grame draws his main weapon.
Standard action: Magic Weapon.
Minor action: Grame finally has a chance to use his Resistive Formula on himself or an ally.

Later in the encounter, the party isn't doing well. One of the lurker's hits one of Graeme's badly wounded allies. Since it's not his turn, Graeme is holding the Rhythm Blade and the Defensive Staff to increase his defenses.
Free action: sheathe Defensive Staff.
Free action: draw Farbond Spellblade.
Immediate Interrupt: Shocking Feedback. Graeme rolls a 1; groans go up from around the table.
Free action: sheathe Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Luckblade.
Free action: use Luckblade to reroll attack. Grame hits, damaging the lurker and granting his ally resist 5. But that isn't enough.
Free action: sheathe Luckblade.
Free action: draw Rod of Divine Retribution.
Free action: use the daily on the rod to stun the lurker. Since the triggering attack, Shocking Feedback, is an interrupt, all this occurs before the lurker can actually attack, so it fizzles and Graeme's ally is safe.
Graeme sheathes the rod and spellblade and draws his Rhythm Blade and Defensive Staff.

Clever Tail (PHB:T) Requires tiefling. Once per round, draw or stow an item weighing up to one pound. The once per round limit allows quick access to one-shot items (which can be dropped as a free action to free up your hand. If you can't pick them up again after combat, you're dead anyway.) But the one pound restriction limits you to drawing daggers, wands and tomes.

Quick Draw (PHB) Requires DEX 13. No limit to how often you can use this, but it's restricted to drawing items "as part of the same action in which you use them." That means items with passive properties are out, but it also means it's incredibly useful for off-turn powers, as you can draw an item as part of the immediate action required to activate it. Nice alternative for non-arcane classes.

Skill Power (PHB3) If you're trained in Thievery, you can pick up the Fast Hands skill power (see Powers).

Powers


Fast Hands (PHB3) Requires training in Thievery. You can pick it up as your level 2 utility, or through the Skill Power feat. Lets you draw or stow anything as a free action, but it's limited to once a round. Some careful planning can mitigate this, but it makes it difficult to use items with passive properties.

Mage Hand (PHB) Wizard cantrip. Allows swapping of an item in hand with a stowed one as a minor action. Can be useful if you've got your hands full.

Palming Strike (Dr389) This Rogue at-will lets you draw an item as a free action when you hit with the otherwise unremarkable standard action attack. I can't imagine any Rogue that would burn one of their at-will choices on this.

Quick-Draw Trick (MP) The level 12 utility of the Avalanche Hurler paragon path for Rangers. Allows unlimited, at-will drawing and stowing of weapons only. Nice power, but who would burn a paragon path on this? I don't know if paragon paths count as classes, but it would be interesting poach bait for a paragon tiefling with Secrets of Belial.

Items


Prison of Salzacas (2, AV2, Wondrous Item) Once per encounter, cast Mage Hand. Cheap and slotless, but not always useful.

Battle Harness (4+, Dr368, cloth, leather, hide) Unlimited drawing of weapons or items. Tossing them aside as a free action when you're done with them seems thematic. Also a useful boost to initiative, though it doesn't stack with a Warlord.

Hedge Wizard's Gloves (4, AV1, hands) At-will Mage Hand, but it takes up your hand slot.

Deep-Pocket Cloak (7+, AV2, neck) Draw or stow as a free action once per round. Takes up your neck slot and doesn't offer much else.

Bracers of Speed (13, Dr386, arms) Draw or stow once a round. Takes up the coveted arms slot.

Dantrag's Bracers (18, Dr386, arms or feet) You'll have to ask your DM for these unique Bracers of Speed. They're expensive, but you can wear them on your arms or feet, The feet power is very nice, especially coupled with a Staff of the Traveler. The arms power is great for E-classes and MBA-focused characters.

Weapons



As of Adventurer's Vault, properties of off-hand weapons cannot be applied to powers used through a weapon in the main hand. The static damage boost of an off-hand Vanguard Weapon doesn't effect a charge completed with a different weapon, for example.

But there is no such restriction on powers, unless the power explicitly states that it must be used with that particular weapon, and this opens up plenty of possibilities. Unlike implements, a character does not need to be proficient with a weapon to use its properties or powers, but even if your DM rules otherwise, most useful enchantments are available on a wide array of different weapons.


Harmonic Songblade (2, AV2, heavy blade, light blade) Small daily boost to attack and defense for an ally.

Holy Healer's Weapon (2+, AV1, mace, staff) Basically a daily ranged potion that only costs a minor action to administer. The extra healing from higher level versions likely won't matter. Clerics and E-leaders also get a scaling bonus to Healing Words. No reason not to have one.

Mage's Weapon (2, AV1, heavy blade, light blade) Trade a useless arcane power for a martial one every encounter.

Manifester's Weapon (2, PHB3) Gain an extra power point once a day.

Parrying Weapon (2+, AV1, any melee) Daily to make an MBA to negate a melee attack. Eats your immediate action. Higher level versions make the MBA more likely to hit, but probably aren't worth the cost.

Quicksilver Blade (2+, AV2, light blade) Scaling item bonus to initiative.

Weapon of Shared Wrath (2, PHB3, any melee) Immediate reaction to grant an MBA when bloodied.

Aegis Blade (3, AV2, heavy blade, light blade) Daily to mark all enemies within 3. Amazing for defenders, particularly Swordmages.

Blood Fury Weapon (3, AV2, axe, heavy blade) Treat yourself as bloodied for two rounds every encounter.

Ki Weapon (3, PHB3) Small boost to Flurry of Blows damage once per turn.

Luckblade (3, AV1, heavy blade, light blade) Daily reroll on an attack. A must-have.

Pact Blade (3+, PHB, light blade) Autokills cursed minions that attack you in melee. No reason to get higher level versions.

Rhythm Blade (3, AV2, light blade) A free light shield. If your DM rules that it only increases an existing shield bonus, combine it with an actual shield, Two-Weapon Defense or the Rod Expertise feat and a non-magical rod. If you can use light shields, you can also put this enchantment on a spiked shield (even if you're not proficient with those) to get a free heavy shield.

Battlecrazed (4, AV1, axe, heavy blade) Strictly inferior to a Blood Fury weapon.

Communal Weapon (4+, AV1, any melee) Add a +1 bonus to an ally's d20 roll. Used after-the-fact, so it's guaranteed to turn a failure into a success. The usefulness of higher level versions will depend on how often you want to use the power.

Medic's Weapon (4, AV1) A little healing to dole out when you use Channel Divinity. The daily power is probably worthless. Don't bother with higher-level versions.

Oathblade (4+, AV1, heavy blade, light blade) Deal scaling damage to a creature you've marked once per day.

Opportunistic Weapon (4, AV1, any melee) Once a day make an extra opportunity attack as an immediate action.

Aecris Weapon (5, H1, longsword) Once a day, gain a healing surge when you drop an undead.

Chainreach Weapon (5, Dr380, any melee) Once a day, make a long-distance MBA as a minor action.

Weapon of Great Opportunity (5, AV2, any melee) Deal scaling damage on an opportunity attack every encounter.

Graceful Weapon (8, AV1, flail, heavy blade, light blade, spear) Daily MBA as an immediate action when attacked in melee.

Jolting Guard Weapon (8, DSCS, any melee) Every encounter, weaken an enemy who misses you in melee.

Mithrendain Steel Weapon (8, Dr 366, heavy blade, light blade) Almost always inferior to the equally-priced Rubicant Blade and the slightly more expensive Incisive Dagger. However, unlike those weapons, this one increases the distance of any teleport you make, not just teleportation powers you use, so it affects allies' powers that teleport you, as well as non-power teleports, like those granted by the Staff of the Traveler when you use the shift action.

Rovikar's Weapon (8, AV2) Potentially large bonus to an ally's attack and damage roll once a day as an immediate action.

Rubicant Blade (8, Dr385, any one-handed) The slightly more expensive Incisive Dagger is better for increasing teleport distance, but the daily power lets you teleport yourself and two allies. Excellent utility, even without a way to quick draw.

Weapon of Healing (8+, AV1, mace) Scaling bonus to powers that restore hit points. Great, even if you just hold it during short rests.

Incisive Dagger (9+, AV2, dagger) Scaling increase to teleport distance. Even if you have no teleportation powers, a 7-square daily teleport as a minor action is invaluable. Teleport distance of both the property and the daily increase with higher levels. For comparison, a level 14 Eladrin Ring of Passage increases teleports by 1 square (two if you're an Eladrin) and provides a 7-square daily teleport as a move action, while an identically-priced Incisive Dagger increases teleports by 3 squares, provides a daily 13-square minor action teleport, and doesn't take up an equipment slot.

Wolfen Weapon (9, Dr 364, heavy blade, light blade) A sneakoscope. Once a day, you and all allies aren't surprised. Also an untyped boost to Perception and no Perception penalty while sleeping. Someone in every party should have one.
 
Blade of Night (12, AV1, light blade) Daily darkness zone. A smokebomb for a quick getaway.

Unbroken Lance (12, AV2, spear) Daily to shift-charge as a standard action while mounted.

Shadowrift Blade (12+, light) Teleport and take damage when you hit an enemy granting combat advantage. Both teleport distance and damage scale with level. An at-will free action teleport can be extraordinarily useful for certain characters, expecially defenders who rely on good positioning and have the hit points or DR to soak the damage. Note that you can teleport between the different attacks of a multiattack power, greatly increasing their utility.

Bradaman's Weapon (13, AV2, axe, heavy blade, hammer) Divine Challenge two targets at a time, all the time. Ask your DM if you need to engage both targets or just one to maintain the marks.

Wicked Fang (13+, Du160, longsword) Once per day, apply scaling ongoing damage when you hit with a weapon.

Battlemaster's Weapon (14, AV1) Once per day, regain an encounter power. Any encounter power.

Bilethorn Weapon (14, AV1, any melee) Once per day, echo the damage of an MBA.

Healing Weapon (14, AV1, any ranged) Long-range daily heal as a standard action. Rarely necessary, but there are very few other options for healing an ally that far away.

Weapon of Summer (15, Du160, heavy blade) Large untyped defense boost for two rounds a day.

Weapon of the Conqueror (15+, PHB:D, axe, heavy blade) Scaling damage bonus to dragon breath and a daily to turn it into a close burst.

Shadowfell Blade (19+, P3, axe, heavy blade, light blade) Become insubstantial for two rounds every encounter. Once a day make a large shift and two MBAs as a standard action. Nice, but expensive.

Lilting Songblade (20, PHB2, heavy blade, light blade) A massive encounter-long damage buff for the entire party. Many characters will already have item bonuses to damage, but in a large battle or any encounter with minions, the bonus will skyrocket to ridiculous levels. Expensive, but a must-have for any high-level party.

Legendary Weapon (25, AV1) Cheaper than a Violet Solitaire, and useable with other solitaires.

Orbs



Proficient Classes: Psion, Wizard, arcane class with Arcane Implement Proficiency

In order to use either the properties or powers of an implement, you must be proficient with it. The usual way to gain proficiency in an implement you can't already use is to multiclass into a class than can. Arcane characters can also take Arcane Implement Proficiency for certain implements.


Orb of Resilient Tenacity (2+, AV2) Scaling bonus to saving throws vs. a single effect for you or on ally once a day.

Orb of Frustrated Recovery (3, PHB3) Once a day, an enemy fails a saving throw vs. ongoing damage.

Orb of Inevitable Continuance (3, PHB) Extend the effect of one of your powers for a round once a day.

Orb of Judicious Conjuration (3, AV1) Sustain minor as a free action every encounter.

Orb of Mental Constitution (3, PHB3) Force an attack vs. your AC or Fortitude to hit your Will instead every encounter, with a potentially large boost for power point classes. Also, a huge passive boost to Endurance.

Orb of Nimble Thoughts (3, PHB3) Huge boost to initiative for INT classes. Large shift every encounter. My Changeling couples this with a Staff of the Traveler to fake a Fey Step.

Orb of Sweet Sanctuary (3+, AV1) Large, scaling boost to defenses once a day. Burns a standard action, though, so it's rarely worth it.

Orb of Fickle Fate (4+, AV1) Nice penalty to an enemy's saves once a day, coupled with a boost to saves for you or an ally. The penalty makes it more likely that the effect will last longer. Penalty scales by tier, so only the level 4, 14, and 24 versions are worthwhile.

Orb of Psionic Recovery (4+, PHB3) Easy way to regain power points once a day if you have a power point-using ally and an immediate action to burn. Scales by tier, so only the level 4, 14, and 24 versions are worthwhile.

Orb of Sanguinary Repercussions (5+, PHB) Scaling damage to all bloodied creatures nearby as a minor action once a day. Affects allies, doesn't kill minions and deals pitiful damage.

Orb of Stored Energy (5, PsP) Store 1 or 2 power points for later use. Note that you can only spend 1 stored power point at a time, once a day, so the only way to get the second power point is to find a way to recharge the orb.

Orb of Impenetrable Escape (6, AV1) Force an enemy to reroll a successful save against one of your powers once a day.

Orb of Indisputable Gravity (7, PHB) Once a day, attacks cause flying creatures to descend. Affects allies, but handy to allow ranged characters to bring flying enemies within melee reach, at least for a little while.

Orb of Spatial Contortion (7, AV1) Once a day, turn a close blast into a potentially larger close burst.

Orb of Inexplicable Contention (8+, Dr365) Once a day, make an enemy attack one of its adjacent allies. Higher-level versions make the attack slightly more likely to hit but aren't worth the cost. Monster basic attacks often have nasty riders.

Orb of Reversed Polarities (9+, PHB) Once a day, your attacks treat enemy resistances as vulnerable 5 for two rounds. Higher-level versions scale the amount of vulnerability by tier, so only level 9, 14 and 24 versions are worthwhile. Useful if you rely on a single damage type.

Murkoorak's Orb (10, SotAC) Once a day, deal extra damage to an enemy granting you combat advantage. There are no higher-level versions of this item.

Orb of Drastic Resolutions (13, PHB) Once a day, immobilize or weaken an enemy when a different enemy drops. Neat, but drastic? PHB magic items rarely live up to their names.

Orb of Indefatigable Concentration (13+, AV1) Once a day, free sustain minors for a single power for several rounds, which scales with enhancement bonus. That's a minimum of three rounds, so higher-level versions likely aren't worth the extra cost.

Orb of Karmic Resonance (13, AV1) Once a day, force a failed save or end a condition on you or an ally. You also fail a save. Indispensable if you're packing Sleep or Slumber of the Winter Court.

Orb of Temporal Dissonance (13+, Dr365) Once a day, everyone rerolls initiative and combat begins at the top of the order. Tricky to get the timing right but can potentially double your party's alpha-strike capabilities. Couple with a Warlord, Strategist's Epiphany or Stall Tactics to ensure Team Hero goes twice before the monsters can act.

Orb of Translocation Interference (13, MotP) Each encounter, detour an enemy's teleport. The destination must still be valid, so powers that let an enemy teleport adjacent to one of your party, for example, won't be hurt much. A bit too expensive for what it does.

Orb of Visionary Protection (13, AV2) Once a day, expend an immediate action and your Orb of Imposition to make a preemptive saving throw. Less valuable with the advent of Superior Will, but still handy to avoid a round of stunning.

Orb of Mighty Retort (15, AV1) Once a day, use an at-will or encounter power as an immediate action after being hit. The self-daze on the encounter power and the price knocks this one down a bit.

Orb of Revenant Magic (17, AV1) Once a day, regain a power with a miss effect when you miss all targets. I'd rather have a reroll. Most of these powers will be dailies anyway, so check out Tattoo of the Penitent Martyr instead.

Orb of Repeated Imposition (18, AV2) Once a day, regain your Orb of Imposition.

Orb of Unintended Solitude (18, AV1) Once a day, turn forced movement into a one-round Sequester. Can be useful, but tends to just prolong combat. Also expensive.

Orb of Invasive Fortune (20, PHB) Once a day, regain an encounter power and negate an enemy's recharge of a power. Might require a bit of metagaming, but nice to avoid an enemy's big guns while refreshing yours.

Orb of the Planes (23, MotP) Each encounter, negate an enemy teleport and teleport yourself. Too expensive for little benefit.

Orb of Arcane Generosity (24, AV1) Use an arcane utility power to allow a mass-heal. Nice if the leader's down, but very expensive.

Rods



Proficient Classes: Artificer, Invoker, Warlock, arcane class with Arcane Implement Proficiency

In order to use either the properties or powers of an implement, you must be proficient with it. The usual way to gain proficiency in an implement you can't already use is to multiclass into a class than can. Arcane characters can also take Arcane Implement Proficiency for certain implements.

Defense-minded characters should take a look at the Rod Expertise feat, which grants a shield bonus to AC and Reflex when wielding even a non-proficient, non-magical rod.


Rod of Cursed Honor (2, AV1) +1 to NADs for two rounds every time you use your Warlock's Curse.

Rod of Dark Reward (2, PHB) +1 to AC for a round every time you use your Warlock's Curse.

Rod of Office (2, DSCS) Once per encounter, regain your fell might.

Rod of Avernus (3+, Dr386) Each time you gain your pact boon, slide all cursed enemies. Note that this effect is in addition to, not in place of your boon. Also, once a day, gain a damaging aura 1 for the entire encounter. It's a bit harder to use than Armor of Agathys, but much cheaper. Higher-level versions scale the damage but aren't worthwhile.

Rod of Corruption (3, PHB) Forgo your pact boon to spread your Curse to all nearby enemies. Excellent for action economy.

Rod of Malign Conveyance (3+, AV1) Once a day, teleport yourself, an ally, and an enemy 1 square as a move action. Distance scales with level. Not bad if you're in a tight space. Usefulness of higher-level versions will vary with your build. If you just want to be able to teleport yourself and an ally, take a look at the Rubicant Blade instead.

Rod of Draconic Fury (4+, Dr365) Once a day, forgo your pact boon and burn an immediate action to gain a bonus on your next attack roll. The bonus scales by tier, so only the level 4, 14 and 24 versions are worthwhile.

Rod of the Shadow Walker (4, AV1) Gain concealment from the target for two rounds every time you use your Warlock's Curse. More useful for hybrids that don't have Shadow Walk.

Rod of Wrathful Dismissal (4, PHB2) Slide an enemy who hits you adjacent to an ally as an immediate action.

Rod of Reaving (5+, PHB) Scaling damage to non-minion enemies you place your Warlock's Curse on. Useless after errata.

Mercurial Rod (6, AV1) Once a day, remove your Warlock's Curse from a target when you hit it to deal two extra dice of Curse damage.

Rod of Feythorns (7+, AV1) Strip poison resistance when you place your Warlock's Curse. Higher-level versions also add poison vulnerability, which scales by tier, so only the level 7, 17 and 27 versions offer any additional benefit. The biggest problem with poison damage, however, is the rampant immunity among undead, which this rod does nothing to counteract.

Rod of Runic Resistance (8, Dr365) Once a day, grant a small amount of elemental resistance in a small burst for a round.

Rod of the Feywild (8+, AV1) Increases the distance of your Misty Step, which scales with level. Once per encounter, emulate Fey Step.

Rod of the Infernal (8+, AV1) Increases temp HP from Dark One's Blessing, which scales with level. Once a day, gain a good amount of temp HP.

Lifesapper Rod (9+, AV1) Once a day, Curse a target to give it scaling ongoing damage. Dish out healing each time it takes that damage.

Rod of Brutality (9+, AV1) Makes your Warlock's Curse brutal. Brutal value increases by tier, so only the level 9, 19 and 29 versions are worthwhile.

Rod of Divine Retribution (9, Dr381) Free action daily stun when you hit a target that has previously attacked you.

Rod of Mindbending (9+, AV1) Scaling psychic vulnerability for two rounds when you place your Warlock's Curse.

Rod of Starlight (9+, AV1) Scaling radiant vulnerability for two rounds when you place your Warlock's Curse. The amount of vulnerability is low, but it triggers all sorts of Radiant Mafia hijinks.

Rod of the Pyre (9+, PHB) Scaling fire vulnerability for two rounds when you place your Warlock's Curse.

Arkhosian Scepter (12+, PHB:D) Scaling bonus to attack and damage rolls of dragon breath. Once a day, make your dragon breath an area burst. The property works even if you're not proficient with rods. If you use dragon breath, there's no reason not to have one.

Rod of Baleful Geas (12+, Dr365) Once a day, deal Curse damage to a Cursed enemy and slide it. Slide increases with level.

Rod of Harvest (14, PHB) Once per encounter, store your pact boon for later. There seems to be no limit to how long the boon stays in the rod, so you can store an otherwise worthless boon at the end of one combat for another encounter, or hand off the rod and let another party member who can use rods gain the benefit of your boon.

Rod of the Sorrowsworn (14, AV1) Once a day, inflict a save ends attack debuff on an enemy you Curse.

Rod of Silver Rain (15+, AV2) Once a day, make an autohit area attack that gives all Cursed enemies in the zone scaling ongoing damage. Fey creatures take more.

Rod of Vulnerability (15+, AV1) Once per day, placing your Warlock's Curse grants scaling vulnerability to your attacks for two rounds. Great for a multiattacker's nova round. Vulnerability scales by tier, so only the level 15 and 25 versions are worthwhile.

Scepter of Cimbar (15, Du178) The lackluster daily makes you appear as a changeling for 24 hours. But the passive telepathy has excellent RP value.

Battle-Pact Rod (18, AV2) Once a day, Curse an enemy and mark it for the rest of the encounter. The mark punishment inflicts your Curse damage, with no action and no limit per round. Can also be used as a melee weapon in a pinch. Only the price keeps this from sky blue.

Feyrod (18, AV1) One encounter a day, gain Fey Pact riders.

Hellrod (18, AV1) One encounter a day, gain Infernal Pact riders.

Star Rod (18, AV1) One encounter a day, gain Star Pact riders.

Rod of Retributive Justice (20, PHB2) Once a day, retaliate with an Invoker at-will or encounter power as an immediate action.

Rod of Star's Descent (20, MotP) Daily standard action to auto-blind all enemies in a large area for a round. Very nice effect, but it's expensive in gold and actions.

Rod of Death's Grasp (23, PHB) Once a day, grant ongoing damage to an enemy you Curse and gain HP when it takes it. Far too expensive for the effect.

Rod of Flaying (24+, Dr367) Once a day, daze and inflict a small amount of ongoing damage to a Cursed enemy you hit. Poor effect for this level.

Rod of Ulban (25, AV2) As long as an enemy is Cursed by you, it gains vulnerable 10 psychic.

Staves


Proficient Classes: Assassin with staff weapon proficiency, Druid, Invoker, Psion, Sorcerer, Wizard, arcane class with Arcane Implement Proficiency, Fighter/Warlock with Avernian Knight paragon path

In order to use either the properties or powers of an implement, you must be proficient with it. The usual way to gain proficiency in an implement you can't already use is to multiclass into a class than can. Arcane characters can also take Arcane Implement Proficiency for certain implements.


Aversion Staff (2, PHB3) Boost to defenses against enemies suffering from effects you cause.

Defensive Staff (2, AV1) +1 to NADs and +1 to AC if you have Staff of Defense.

Mnemonic Staff (2+, AV1) Swap a prepared power for one in your spellbook. Best for low-level powers, as item level restricts which powers you can swap. Also a small boost to monster knowledge checks.

Staff of Expansion (2+, Dr365) Once a day, increase the size of a burst. Increase scales by tier, so only the level 2, 12 and 22 versions are worthwhile. blue

Staff of Fiery Might (2+, PHB) Once a day, reroll a damage die on a fire power. Higher-leve versions allow more dice to be rerolled.

Staff of Insightful Detection (2, PHB3) For two rounds per encounter, negate concealment. Power point classes can sustain the effect.

Staff of Missile Mastery (2+, AV1) A scaling bonus to Magic Missile damage. Once a day, target extra creatures. The number of creatures scales at levels 17 and 27.

Staff of the Discerning Watcher (2, PHB3) Once a day, the entire party can take 10 on an initiative check. With a good Warlord, this can guarantee an alpha-strike, and in any case can keep slower members from getting jumped.

Staff of Tongues (2, PHB3) Learn Supernal. At this price, why not?

Utility Staff (2+, AV1) Scaling boost to the range of arcane utility powers.

Force Staff (3+, AV1) Once per day, a scaling slide when you hit with a force power.

Staff of Resilience (3, AV2) Once per day, spend a surge to gain two surges worth of temp HP.

Staff of the Evader (3, PHB3) Once per day, burn an immediate action to negate immobilization and teleport. Also a boost to saving throws vs. immobilization and slowed.

Staff of the Impregnable Mind (3+, PHB3) Gain resist psychic. Once per day gain a scaling boost to Will (augmentable to all defenses) as an immediate action. The resist scales by tier.

Staff of the War Mage (3, PHB) Once per day, increase the size of a burst or blast. Doesn't scale like the Staff of Expansion, but works with blasts.

Staff of Ultimate Defense (3+, AV1) A scaling boost to Staff of Defense.

Staff of Verdant Growth (3, Dr365) Once a day, slow all creatures in the burst of an area power. Affects allies, and isn't a particularly harmful condition to inflict.

Staff of Iron Infusion (4+, AV2) Scaling Resist all for a round for an ally you use your Healing Infusion on. Once a day, scaling resist all for any ally for a round.

Staff of Light (4, AV1) Once a day, a scaling radiant damage aura. If someone in your party can find a way to cast Light, this is an excellent damage boost against radiant vulnerable enemies, which are usually plentiful.

Staff of the Adaptable Mind (4+, PHB3) Once a day, scaling Resist all for a round as an immediate action. Augmentable to include allies.

Staff of Winter (4, PHB) Once a day, immobilize nearby enemies after using a cold power.

Architect's Staff (5+, AV1) Once a day, reshape one of your walls. Normally the property is useless, but if you have non-damaging walls or zones, you get a scaling increase to their size.

Harvester's Staff (5+, PHB3) Once a day, blow a standard action and hurt an ally to regain power points. The amount regained scales by tier, so only the level 5, 15 and 25 versions yield any benefit. Get a Staff of the Renewing Source instead. Also gives a substantial and non-scaling passive boost to anyone pushing Intimidate, though at higher levels it will be eclipsed by larger item bonuses.

Staff of Draconic Power (5+, Dr365) Once a day, use a fire power to gain resist fire and do scaling fire damage to adjacent creatures. Affects allies and only really hurts minions.

Staff of Storms (5+, PHB) Once a day, use a lightning or thunder power to deal scaling damage to nearby creatures. Better targeting capabilities than the Staff of Draconic Power, but still affects allies and does poor damage.

Staff of the Renewing Source (5+ PHB3) Once a day, hit with an augmented power to regain power points. The amount regained scales by tier, so only the level 5, 15 and 25 versions are worthwhile.

Staff of the Traveler (5, PHB3) Turn all your shifts into teleports. Automatically escape from grabs, ignore difficult terrain, avoid obstacles and skip Athletics checks. Psionic characters can also double up on a teleportation power each encounter. Combine with a Mithrendain Steel weapon to teleport 2 at-will (3 at epic), among countless other shenanigans.

Staff of Distant Shielding (7+, PHB2) Once a day, punish an enemy with radiant damage when it attacks an ally. The punishment scales by tier, so only the level 7, 12 and 22 versions are worthwhile.

Summoner's Staff (7+, AV2) Scaling temp HP for you or an ally every time an enemy misses one of your summoned creatures. Once a day, force a reroll against one of your summons.

Staff of the Faithful Arcanist (8, AV2) Once a day, use an honest-to-goodness Healing Word. Great even if you can already use Healing Word, as it gains all the mods you've probably stacked on it.

Thunderwave Staff (8+, PHB) Be an old-school Blood Mage for a round. Once a day, forgo a push to knock prone and deal extra damage. Works on every creature pushed by the power and does potentially huge damage. Unfortunately, only affects pushes.

Staff of Elemental Prowess (9+, AV1) Once a day, you and all nearby allies gain resistance to an element for a round as an immediate action. The radius of the boost and the amount of resistance both scale by tier, so only the level 9, 14 and 24 versions are worthwhile.

Staff of New Horizons (9+, DSCS) Once day, teleport yourself and adjacent allies when damaged as an immediate action. The teleport distance scales. Your party also gets a scaling boost to overland speed. Yay?

Staff of Gathering (10, AV1) Once a day, when damaged by one of an odd assortment of damage types, reduce the damage and gain a huge bonus to attack and damage on your next arcane implement attack. Satisfy all those conditions and it's pretty sweet, assuming you can get the timing right.

Staff of the Lich (13, DrA09) Once an encounter, immobilize a target of one of your necrotic powers. Sure it's a lame power, but you can use it often!

Wyrmspike (13, Hfst) Resist vs. close and area attacks. There are no higher-level versions of this item.

Earthshaker Staff (14, Du160) Once a day, add a push to a force power.

Quickening Staff (14, AV1) Once a day, use an at-will power when you hit with a daily. Note that the at-will doesn't need to be an attack.

Staff of Portals (14, MotP) Once a day, use a teleportation power to teleport yourself and nearby allies. A Rubicant Blade is cheaper.

Staff of Spell Blasting (14, AV2) Once a day, turn a ranged arcane at-will into a close blast.

Staff of the Sunburst (14, PHB2) Once a day, prone and deal a bit of scaling radiant damage to nearby enemies when you take damage. Damage scales by tier, so only the level 14 and 24 versions yield any benefit.

Staff of Transposition (14, AV1) Once a day, allies in the effect of one of your area powers are teleported out of it.

Tempest Staff (15, AV2) Once a day, damage and push an enemy that hits you, as well as all enemies adjacent to allies. Poor damage that doesn't even scale.

Staff of the Far Wanderer (17+, AV2) Once a day, teleport adjacent to a target of your radiant power. Cosmic Sorc's get a scaling AC boost.

Staff of Power (19, PHB) Once a day, regain an encounter or daily power that you crit with. Not guaranteed to trigger, but excellent when it does.

Destiny Staff (25, AV1) Cheaper than a Violet Solitaire, and factoring in minions, more likely to trigger. Also useable with other solitaires.

wands
tomes
totems
misc

okay, done reserving!
Lazylord Triumvirate: Orb o Cheese, Whip, and Chieftain's spear.

Edit: Incision Dagger.  Especially for those who'd rather be wielding a gouge, but want to teleport lots at will.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I call my warlock the juggler lol. Rashaksa Claw Familiar juggling an incisive dagger, rod of corruption, Aversion staff, rod of Avernus, rod of the infernal, pact blade and a +4 weapon. It's fun but it can feel a little bit cheesy after a while. After a few times explaining every swap my DM just assumes I have the appropriate item in my hand.
Master's Blade is a good one, especially for E-Classes.  Stick it on a Wrist Razors, and you don't even have to give up your normal weapon.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Might want to link to my holy symbol guide.

While not swapped, it follows the same item slot cheeze idea.

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide

 

4e stuff

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Master's Blade is a good one, especially for E-Classes.  Stick it on a Wrist Razors, and you don't even have to give up your normal weapon.


You do, however, have to give up your arm slot.  In many cases, this is not a good trade.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Oh, definitely.  But it's not an unforgivable issue.  Swappinig bracers once you've dropped the daily isn't a struggle.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm having a hard time disassociating rarity with daily item limits, for didn't they come out at the same time, implying that 1 is not ballanced w/o the other?

Perhaps a section dedicated to proposed fixes, perhaps calling it "DM throttling".  Something like 1 daily item usage / slot, 2 for rings, 2 for wonderous, 1 for each hand.

I'm not bashing what you're trying to accomplish.  I think it's great.  Heward's handy haversack on sterroids and all, but the 3.5 artificer handbook had a section on how to throttle an artificer.

 
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
Could you maybe alphabetize the list?
After the time I have spent examining and breaking down Landsknecht73's warlock, I think you have under-rated the Shadowrift Blade. At 12th Level it is among the first (if not the first) Items available to auto-damage oneself. I understand how this may not seem valuable to most, but for the Hell'lock there simply aren't enough options as far as items like that. Pure Gold for the Hell'lock, but possibly to them alone...
Oh, definitely.  But it's not an unforgivable issue.  Swappinig bracers once you've dropped the daily isn't a struggle.


The daily only works while you wield the weapon.  So it actually is a struggle, and an impossible one at that.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Oh, definitely.  But it's not an unforgivable issue.  Swappinig bracers once you've dropped the daily isn't a struggle.


The daily only works while you wield the weapon.  So it actually is a struggle, and an impossible one at that.


Yes.  You swap in a short rest, either when you think you'll need the daily, or once you've used it.  And find an item bonus to damage elsewhere, if necessary.  But being able to use, say, Ocular Adept's 20th feature on a Ranger or Hunter; or Snarling Wolf Stance on a Slayer without dropping the normal stances for an encounter per day would be very powerful.

This is why the Bracers/Iron Armbands really cramp design space.  There's a slot that no optimised character uses for ANYTHING else.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
The other downfall of keeping a lot of weapons on you at hand is the enhancement costs as you go up in level @_@
Not particularly. Most of the items in question function at the lowest level you can acquire them.

Before quickcurse rods were nerfed I used 4 +1 versions to curse everything in an encounter turn 1. It was cheesy but it worked due to free action swapage. I always invisioned it as my quickcurse Gatling gun that popped out on my shoulder (warforged) at the beginning of combat. Good times. Lol
This is why the Bracers/Iron Armbands really cramp design space.  There's a slot that no optimised character uses for ANYTHING else.

Well, Staff of Ruin and Radiant Weapon show up on optimized characters often enough.
True, true, there are a (very) few other options.  But I'd love it if those two (or four, for the E-classes) weren't gold items in virtually every guide.

In the case of Master's Blade, if you don't want to actually use it to hit stuff, you only need it at +1, the Daily's just as good then.

Similarly, Shielding Blade Wrist Razors is a nice item - +1 shield bonus to AC, common and cheap but again, does take up that crucial arms slot.  I've been using it on an LFR character who won't be able to get Bracers of Archery for several levels.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Master's Blade is a good one, especially for E-Classes.  Stick it on a Wrist Razors, and you don't even have to give up your normal weapon.

The issue with a Master's Blade weapon is that the property is useless unless it's your primary weapon, and the daily only works while you wield the blade. As a DM, I'd rule that sheathing the weapon causes one of your stances to end. That's not so bad for E-classes who can activate them again, but it's not very economical action-wise.

The loss of Iron Armbands is pretty dire. It's one of the reasons the Lilting Songblade is so good; if you know someone's going to pop it next encounter, swap in wrist razors.

I'm having a hard time disassociating rarity with daily item limits, for didn't they come out at the same time, implying that 1 is not ballanced w/o the other?

3.5 Artificers really did need throttling, as they could make extremely powerful items for very little XP/cash; they could pretty much ruin the economy (and therefore power level) of any game. In 4e, there's no real way around the wealth guidelines. And since magic items in general are so much weaker than they used to be (particularly the daily powers that tend to be the focus of this guide), in my experience quick-swapping increases a character's options and versatility, as opposed to their overall power level.

If you look at the sky blue items in the list, they tend to be things like "Once a day, you can heal an ally 5 squares away for 8 HP as a minor action." The more powerful items, like the aforementioned Lilting Songblade or the Orb of Nimble Thoughts, can be used by any character willing to shell out the cash, hold them in hand at the beginning of combat and drop them as soon as they're no longer useful.

Could you maybe alphabetize the list?

I've noticed players tend to look at how much cash they have leftover and then decide what secondary items to buy, so the list is arranged by item level (and arranged alphabetically within levels).

After the time I have spent examining and breaking down Landsknecht73's warlock, I think you have under-rated the Shadowrift Blade. At 12th Level it is among the first (if not the first) Items available to auto-damage oneself. I understand how this may not seem valuable to most, but for the Hell'lock there simply aren't enough options as far as items like that. Pure Gold for the Hell'lock, but possibly to them alone...

I thought the Shadowrift Blade was only available at a much higher level. Rating changed accordingly. It's useful for many more characters than just Hell'locks, as an off-turn teleport with an easy trigger can be very useful.

Working on orbs.
Master's Blade is a good one, especially for E-Classes.  Stick it on a Wrist Razors, and you don't even have to give up your normal weapon.

The issue with a Master's Blade weapon is that the property is useless unless it's your primary weapon, and the daily only works while you wield the blade. As a DM, I'd rule that sheathing the weapon causes one of your stances to end. That's not so bad for E-classes who can activate them again, but it's not very economical action-wise.

The loss of Iron Armbands is pretty dire. It's one of the reasons the Lilting Songblade is so good; if you know someone's going to pop it next encounter, swap in wrist razors.



You never sheathe a Wrist Razors.  That's the whole point.  It's always equipped and always wielded, it leaves both hands completely free.  It's perfect to hold any static enchantment or item daily (as long as you have an item bonus to damage from elsewhere - radiant weapon, divine boon, whatever).  But even without IaoP, the increased damage from, say, a Slayer being in Rain of Steel stance, or a Hunter being in Rapid Eye Rays of Doom stance along with one of their at-will stances is likely to outstrip the bonus from the Bracers/IaoP over the course of a single combat.  You just need to pick the right one, and swap items before it, in your short rest.

It's much less useful, true, for pre-E classes, who have fewer stances to use.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Yes, I was making a distinction between Master's Blade on a weapon held in hand, which is only really useful as a permanent off-hand weapon, and enchanted wrist razors, which preclude Iron Armbands. You've explained the pitfalls and alternatives well.
Ah, apologies for being a little confrontational, I think I misunderstoond.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Orbs are up. Does anyone have a list of ways (paragon paths, etc.) to gain non-weapon implement proficiencies? Trying to offer alternatives to multiclassing or AIP. Thanks!

Working on rods. That's what she said.
Rods are done. Working on staves.
Any thoughts on Orb of Unlucky Exchanges?  It has the down-side that you have to hit with it, but the highly situational daily power is amazing when you can use it.
Avernian knight PP is great for getting you staff and dagger implements as all warlocks and fighters can use either.
Any thoughts on Orb of Unlucky Exchanges?  It has the down-side that you have to hit with it, but the highly situational daily power is amazing when you can use it.

The problem with that orb is that you have to hit with it. Sure, if you get lucky it's great, but you're betting that you won't miss by more than the difference in enhancement bonus between it and your primary implement. You've got a much greater chance of just wasting your standard action trying to hit with the damn thing so you can use a nice, but situational, daily power.

Avernian knight PP is great for getting you staff and dagger implements as all warlocks and fighters can use either.

Excellent! These are the kinds of things I'm looking for. Thanks!
Staves up. Working on wands.
Great Isea for a guide, thank you.
Very nice guide, thank you for your hard work! Will add a Mithrendain Steel Weapon to my artificer/shaman hybrid, to increase staff of the traveler teleport. Teleporting 2 squares instead of shifting 1 is erally cool. Too bad i can't hold 3 items at the same time. Otherwise, i could even use the Mithrendain Steel Weapon to increase orb of nimble thought's shift encounter + staff of the traveler teleport by one.

As a side note, there are also shields with powerful properties. I read a rules discussion in another thread, which came to the conclusion that you don't have to wield an item to benefit from it's properties (though you must be proficient with it). Sadly, i can neither name you the thread, nor the rules source. Maybe i'll check the RC later. So holding a shield will not grant you it's AC and Ref bonuses (they are not properties), but you still benefit from passive properties.

If you can find the time, you could also add an Item Combo section to your guide, which includes "normal" (non offhand) stuff, that combos well with some of the offhand items. You already know the "staff of the traveler" + orb of cheesy cheating nimble thoughts + mithendrain combo. But i guess that a Shield of Fellowship + armor of shared valor (whenever you grant THP, you gain half that amount) + staff of summoning (or any constant source for THP) is also very cool.

Shield of Fellowship
Property: When you gain temporary hit points, you can transfer those temporary hit points + 3 additional temporary hit points to an adjacent ally as a free action. The hit points you transfer to an ally cannot be transferred again in any way.

Want anime-style Power cards? Then try the Touhou Power Cards!

Methods up. Anyone know of any I missed?

Methods



There are many options for getting items into hand, all with different opportunity costs. Of course the simplest is to use a minor action to draw a sheathed weapon or an item from your pack. This requires a free hand, but only two-weapon combatants, dual-implement spellcasters and heavy shield users should have an issue with that. But many classes just don't have minor actions to spare, and this method precludes the use of items with occasionally useful properties or powers that can't be used on your turn.

Feats


Arcane Familiar (AP) Requires an arcane class. The disembodied hand familiar (and it's paragon upgrade, the Rakshasa Claw) offer the only true, at-will, unlimited item swapping in the game. At any time, as often as you want, draw or stow an item, implement or weapon, enabling scenarios like this one:

Typical scenario
Graeme is a 16th level Artificer with a Rakshasa Claw familiar and a Farbond Spellblade longsword. After resting, Graeme holds a Wolfen dagger in one hand and a Rhythm Blade dagger in the other. He gains +2 to perception and +1 to AC and Reflex.

Suddenly, lurkers none of the party noticed drop from the ceiling, getting a surprise round. Graeme uses the daily on his Wolfen dagger and none of the party is surprised. Instead, all combatants roll initiative. Since no one is surprised, everyone can take actions.
Free action: sheathe Wolfen dagger.
Free action: Draw Quicksilver dagger+2, increasing his initiative by 2. But some of Graeme's companions roll poorly for initiative. The dice are against them.
Free action: sheathe Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Staff of the Discerning Watcher and allow the entire party to take 10 on initiative.
Free action: sheathe Staff of the Discerning Watcher.
Free action: sheathe Quicksilver dagger.
Free action: draw Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Defensive Staff. Grame now has +1 to AC, Fortitude and Will and +2 to Reflex.

Even with his increased defenses, one of the lurkers hits Graeme, grabbing him. He can't use his ranged powers without provoking and he can't maneuver properly to boost allies with Magic Weapon. But he has several options. Being neither strong nor dexterous, an escape check is unlikely to succeed. He could draw his Staff of the Traveler and his Mithrendain Steel longsword to turn his normal shift into a teleport 2, but he wants to get farther away from the action than that. Instead, he sheathes his Rhythm Blade and Defensive Staff and draws his Rod of the Feywild and his Incisive Dagger. As a move action, he uses the encounter power of the Rod of the Feywild to teleport 5 squares, which his +2 Incisive Dagger increases to 7 squares, allowing him to place himself adjacent to several allies. Sheathing those, for the first time, Grame draws his main weapon.
Standard action: Magic Weapon.
Minor action: Grame finally has a chance to use his Resistive Formula on himself or an ally.

Later in the encounter, the party isn't doing well. One of the lurker's hits one of Graeme's badly wounded allies. Since it's not his turn, Graeme is holding the Rhythm Blade and the Defensive Staff to increase his defenses.
Free action: sheathe Defensive Staff.
Free action: draw Farbond Spellblade.
Immediate Interrupt: Shocking Feedback. Graeme rolls a 1; groans go up from around the table.
Free action: sheathe Rhythm Blade.
Free action: draw Luckblade.
Free action: use Luckblade to reroll attack. Grame hits, damaging the lurker and granting his ally resist 5. But that isn't enough.
Free action: sheathe Luckblade.
Free action: draw Rod of Divine Retribution.
Free action: use the daily on the rod to stun the lurker. Since the triggering attack, Shocking Feedback, is an interrupt, all this occurs before the lurker can actually attack, so it fizzles and Graeme's ally is safe.
Graeme sheathes the rod and spellblade and draws his Rhythm Blade and Defensive Staff.




The familiars let you "retreive or stow" an item.  Therefore it DOESN'T work for weapons, which you need to draw and sheath.  This is defined in the RC.  You are right however about the implement part, at least if the base item isn't a weapon. 
RC 245 and 246 truly does list draw/sheathing a weapon and stow/retrieving an item as two different kinds of actions (both minor). In a sense, a weapon is also an item, but this would lead lead to a "realism VS rules" discussion. I always recommend to stick to the rules instead of realism, cause DND 4 is game with relative good game balance. Picking realism over rules might break this balance. So you should incorporate this destinction into your handbook.

Consequence of this is, that the only things that really work for weapons now are (listing only free/no action stuff):
*Quick draw (draw weapon as part of using a power)
*Fast Hands (draw/sheathe/retrieve/stow once per round)
*Quick-Draw Trick (draw/sheathe, unlimited uses)
*Battle harness (drawing or retieve, unlimited uses)
*Bracers of Speed (like Fast Hands)

Regarding the wolfen weapon, you should add a line, that surprises creatures cannot take actions during a surprise round. So unless the wolfen weapon is already equipped, it's power cannot be used during a surprise round (though an empty hand and quick draw might do the trick, cause quick draw let's you draw a weapon as part of a power).

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Great guide! One tip: might want to mention the Thri-Kreen racial ability Multiple Arms in the Methods section. Lets you draw or stow for free once per turn. 
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