Pact Hammer in Living Forgotten Realms

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My Dwarven HexHammer would like to purchase a Pact Hammer. As per the guidelines, Adventurer's Vault is in play, so that should be legal...

The only problem is that the main property of the Pact Hammer ("When you hit a target affected by your Warlock's Curse with this weapon, you deal extra curse damage against that target") isn't so clear.

(The Warlock's curse already says I do extra damage. So do I do double curse damage? Normal curse damage, but even if I've already done it this round? What is this trying to say?)

My interest is simply in saving money by using my weapon as my implement. That part is perfectly clear (and I'm a Dwarf).

So my question: Are pact hammers excluded through the "Content that specifies DM adjudication in order to be used by a character"? clause? Or is that clause intended to limit only things that "specify" DM adjudication, as opposed to items that require DM adjudication...

In other words, what are the odds that a DM I run into will say "you can't use that here"?

"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

Nobody knows for sure what it means.

The most reasonable interpretation to me is following:

Normally, you can deal your Warlock's Curse damage once per round. You can do this with a warlock power or with a melee attack, whichever hits in a given round. With the Pact Hammer, you have the option to add your Curse damage to a cursed opponent that you hit with a melee attack, regardless of whether you have already dealt Curse damage this round or not. This means that you might, in some cases, deal your Curse damage more than once in a round (but only once from any warlock power in a round).

This is one interpretation. It isn't the only one I've seen out there.
This is one interpretation. It isn't the only one I've seen out there.

How hard have you looked for other interpretations?

I think the Pact Hammer property does nothing to lift the limit of one set of Warlock damage per turn. I think it was written under the (wrong) assumption that Warlocks could only do curse damage with Warlock powers, so the author wrote it with the intention of making it possible to deal curse damage via a basic attack (melee or ranged). So while the author "covered the bases" with the property, it really has no effect on the rules.
so the author wrote it with the intention of making it possible to deal curse damage via a basic attack (melee or ranged). So while the author "covered the bases" with the property, it really has no effect on the rules.

I'd like to point out that I'm fine with this. I'm really just trying to save money by only worrying about upgrading one attack implement. I'm just wondering if I'm going to hit a DM who looks at it, says "I don't know what that does, you can't use it."

"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'd like to point out that I'm fine with this. I'm really just trying to save money by only worrying about upgrading one attack implement. I'm just wondering if I'm going to hit a DM who looks at it, says "I don't know what that does, you can't use it."

I would recommend carrying at least a copy of the page the item appears on. A DM in LFR cannot prevent you from using a legal rules item.
John du Bois Living Forgotten Realms Writing Director, Netheril story area Follow me on The Twitter: @JohnduBois Follow my presence on The Intertubes: johncdubois.wordpress.com
I'd like to point out that I'm fine with this. I'm really just trying to save money by only worrying about upgrading one attack implement. I'm just wondering if I'm going to hit a DM who looks at it, says "I don't know what that does, you can't use it."

and with LFR, worst case scenario is they see the bit that says "yep, pact hammer is a warlock implement for a dwarf" and "uhh... this other part makes no sense, so you can't use it." Which for you is perfectly fine.

LFR DMs can't disallow legal items... they CAN choose to "creatively interpret" wording. But for your purposes, you've got what you need. all else is gravy
How hard have you looked for other interpretations?

reread what amysrevenge wrote. It means there are other interpretations out there :P
Normally, you can only do extra damage once per round but, it only has to be against a cursed enemy, not one you cursed yourself.

A possible intended interpretation for the pact hammer is that you repeatedly do extra damage against opponents you have cursed on each attack but not against other cursed targets.
So my question: Are pact hammers excluded through the "Content that specifies DM adjudication in order to be used by a character"? clause? Or is that clause intended to limit only things that "specify" DM adjudication, as opposed to items that require DM adjudication...

Specifies. Technically everything requires DM adjudication.
WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (co-author)
The only problem is that the main property of the Pact Hammer ("When you hit a target affected by your Warlock's Curse with this weapon, you deal extra curse damage against that target") isn't so clear.

That means if you attack it with the weapon (as opposed to a warlock power) you can still get your curse damage. If you are using a warlock power, you are using an implement, not a weapon, and property says weapon.
WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (co-author)
reread what amysrevenge wrote. It means there are other interpretations out there :P

You are absolutely right. I owe amysrevenge an apology.

I am sorry for misreading your post amysrevenge.
That means if you attack it with the weapon (as opposed to a warlock power) you can still get your curse damage. If you are using a warlock power, you are using an implement, not a weapon, and property says weapon.

If I'm attacking with a perfectly normal hammer, I still get my curse damage.

A cursed enemy is more vulnerable to your attacks. If you damage a cursed enemy, you deal extra damage. You decide whether to apply the extra damage after making the damage roll. You can deal this extra damage once per round.

You (can) deal extra damage whenever you damage a cursed enemy. You don't need to be using a Warlock Power to do so: Hitting someone with a basic attack is sufficient. And this works if you have a pact hammer or not.

Thus ... the confusion about what the Pact Hammer is supposed to do. In my home campaign, I've ruled that the "Dwarves Only" property works for anyone, and is the only property. But ... in RPGA it will work differently. And how it works will vary from DM to DM.

"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

You're ok. The text about needing GM adjudication is for things like INtelligent Items and Artifacts (usually intelligent). This is a a perfectly ordinary magic item that just happens to be poorly written.

With luck there will be an Erratum on it soon. In the meantime you could send it to CS to encourage them.
That means if you attack it with the weapon (as opposed to a warlock power) you can still get your curse damage. If you are using a warlock power, you are using an implement, not a weapon, and property says weapon.

According to Ask Wizards, you can add damage bonuses from Weapon Focus and, by corollary, Eladrin Soldier and Dwarven Weapon Training to damage rolls from powers that use the appropriate weapon as in implement. This implies that using a weapon as an implement is tantamount to using the weapon to deal the damage.

As suggested above, it could be that the writer was just sloppy and didn't realize you could already deal Warlock's Curse damage with melee attacks. Given some of the things I've seen lately, I wouldn't be surprised, actually...

My personal opinion, though, is that the Pact Hammer is intended to allow you to deal your Curse damage whenever you deal damage with it. So, if you spend an action point to attack again or use a power that attacks multiple targets subject to your Curse, you get to add your Curse damage to each attack. I also think this is a little too powerful.

I don't think it doubles up Curse damage as some have suggested (first adding Curse damage from the Curse itself and then from the weapon property). But, I'd like to think the writers know the rules better than to create a magic item whose property gives it the ability to do something it could already do.

Although I think it's a little overpowered, I believe my interpretation is the best middle ground between the two extremes.

Limiting the Curse damage only to melee attacks, as you suggest, would definitely be the more balanced and fair approach. As worded, though, and given WotC's past rulings on how bonus weapon damage applies when used as an implement, I don't think it's a correct interpretation of the item as written.

I *do* think it's a good way to house rule it for balance, though.
A long while ago I wrote CS asking for a response to this question. Here are the answers I recieved.

Question 1: Does the Pact Hammer add extra curse damage in addition to the curse damage you already do to a cursed enemy?
Question 2: If so does this extra curse damage also apply to the damage you dealt by using the Pact Hammer as an implement?

Quote:
Response (Support Agent) 09/20/2008 10:38 AM
Greetings,

1. Yes,
2. Yes, if you're a dwarf.

Please let me know if you have any more questions!


We would appreciate your feedback on the service we are providing you. Please click here to fill out a short questionnaire.

To login to your account, or update your question please click here.

Charles
Customer Service Representative
Wizards of the Coast
1-800-324-6496 (US and Canada)
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Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST / 12pm-9pm EST

This is a CS response I recieved on the subject. Sofar I have yet to see anything to dispute this. Yes I have exhaustively researched this on the forums and have only seen other CS responses that confirm this. Sofar I've played with the Pact Hammer twice in LFR and haven't had any judges say anything. I've had some amazement at the damage my Hexforged can put out on a basic attack but I explained to them that I was using a Pact Hammer and that this is how it works.

Frankly I see alot more Tempest fighters and Barbs doing more damage than I am all around so I really don't think people should worry about it.

Theziner
When I build a character that includes rules where there is alot grey area, I try to consider whether I am prepared to play it using the most restrictive interpretation. Then when it comes time to play, I play using what I believe is the most correct reading of the rules. Honestly, most aren't even questioned unless they produce overly-dramatic or unbalancing effects. If the DM asks about it, I explain how I applied the rules and am ready to soberly support my side and/or play by how he has ruled it works.

Just try to avoid rule arguments at the table as no one really enjoys them and steer clear of taking advantage of broken, unbalanced or potentially annoying combos or loopholes. If you play as you genuinely believe the rule should work and don't seem as if you are exploiting a bad rule or trying to get over on the DM, there is rarely that big of an issue.
IMHO the room for abuse on this is incredibly huge

Dwarven Hellfire pact Warlock with the ranger Two weapon fighting style MC feat from martial powers .... 2 pact Craghammers .... and dwarven weapon Training ... and suddenly you become the ultimate striker
Unfortunately, as written, it is ambiguous. They need to issue errata or a FAQ entry for this. By reading the fluff (I know it isn't rules) the intent seems to be to allow you to do curse damage when you use the pact hammer (or a pact sword) as a melee weapon for a melee attack.

Of course the other issue is that Warlock's Curse doesn't restrict you to doing extra damage with Warlock powers only. So it would seem that soemthing got lost in the publication of one or both things.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Sadly, according to customer service, the Pact Hammer's property only triggers your Warlock's Curse - which would trigger anyway. In essence, the Pact Hammer's power does nothing.
Sadly, according to customer service, the Pact Hammer's property only triggers your Warlock's Curse - which would trigger anyway. In essence, the Pact Hammer's power does nothing.

Shake the magic 8 ball again, perhaps it will tell you differently, or at worst to 'try again later'

Don't confuse 'Customer Service' with consulting a 'lawyer' even if we're just talking a 'rules lawyer' here.

-James
AV erratta is out. The Pact Hammer got the erattahammer treatment and the second property (the offending one causing such confusion) is now gone.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
AV erratta is out. The Pact Hammer got the erattahammer treatment and the second property (the offending one causing such confusion) is now gone.

I guess those who were thinking the item's designer did not understand warlock's curse were right.
What do you do if you bought a Pact Hammer and it is now useless on your character? Do I get full gold back?
It's not useless. Sure, if you are not a dwarf it's just an expensive magic weapon, but it still is a magic weapon.

Currently, there is no rule allowing you to sell back the item or reclaim a found item slot. Until the rules are updated to allow it, you are stuck with the Pact Hammer (or sell it at 1/5 cost).
WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (co-author)
What do you do if you bought a Pact Hammer and it is now useless on your character? Do I get full gold back?

Arguably, they just removed the power of the weapon that was redundant with how curse works. Unless you were interpreting the rules of it to allow extra uses of curse, it's function is basically unchanged. It shouldn't be any more useless than it has been since it's release since the power removed was something you could do as a warlock anyway.

Overall, I don't think rules clarifications, errata or new versions should really be granted any extra dispensation. In most cases, you end up with item that is appropriately valued after having had use of it in it's "broken" state for however long. Ultimately, you were probably going to end up selling it to upgrade down the road anyway.

By not giving a full buyback of items that have been errattaed, it will give people pause in the future before they buy into a potentially broken, unbalancing or cheaty combo. I think that is a good thing.
What do you do if you bought a Pact Hammer and it is now useless on your character? Do I get full gold back?

I would imagine you didn't buy the Mordencrad version for your Dwarf Infernalock (with Dwarven Weapon Training)... :D

Having a +1 (or better) Mordencrad, that adds its bonus to all implement attacks, is filled with all sorts of win... OK you can't do your Curse damage more than once per round any more... but that was bound to get an errata sooner or later.

Whoever statted up the Pact Hammer simply didn't grasp that all Strikers only get their extra damage once per round (unless you have the feat for the Ranger or Rogue that lets you add your Hunter's Quarry or Sneak Attack again if you spend an Action Point for another attack).

If your Pact Hammer is a Throwing Hammer or something, then it might not be as good... but if not it's still great!
I would imagine you didn't buy the Mordencrad version for your Dwarf Infernalock (with Dwarven Weapon Training)... :D

I think the character of the poster in question isn't a dwarf. So rather than have an implement the character has an overpriced +1 hammer.

"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 think the character of the poster in question isn't a dwarf. So rather than have an implement the character has an overpriced +1 hammer.

Yeah, but that was true from the get go, wasn't it?
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Yeah, but that was true from the get go, wasn't it?

Well, since it makes no sense to print a property that does nothing, most DMs I know decided it would do Something. What that Something was might vary, but all of the possibilities for Something were at least decent for a warforged hexhammer.

So in practice it was better than a +1 hammer. Now it isn't. I can understand why they might want their money back. As above, I bought mine for a Dwarven Hexhammer, so I'll be keeping it for DWT cheese (PHB FAQ, question 21.) plus cost reduction.

"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 would imagine you didn't buy the Mordencrad version for your Dwarf Infernalock (with Dwarven Weapon Training)... :D

Having a +1 (or better) Mordencrad, that adds its bonus to all implement attacks, is filled with all sorts of win... OK you can't do your Curse damage more than once per round any more... but that was bound to get an errata sooner or later.

Whoever statted up the Pact Hammer simply didn't grasp that all Strikers only get their extra damage once per round (unless you have the feat for the Ranger or Rogue that lets you add your Hunter's Quarry or Sneak Attack again if you spend an Action Point for another attack).

If your Pact Hammer is a Throwing Hammer or something, then it might not be as good... but if not it's still great!

Yes I purchased the +1 Pact Mordenkrad for my Warforged Warlock on the assumption that the creators were not idiots and therefore wouldn't add a property that does nothing. I never had one problem in LFR concerning the item property. I had two CS email responses to back up my claim that the Pact Hammer actually worked. On the otherhand I had multiple problems with DMs misinterperating shadow walk. Go figure.

All I want to do is swap it for a +1 Bloodclaw Mordenkrad now. My place of play doesn't particularly keep track of bought items, only gold spent. I'm probably just going to swap it out with nobody the wiser. Its stupid to have someone keep an errata'd item that is nolonger remotely useful to the character. I already have a +1 Terror Mordenkrad I found previously and I don't want to lose money when I could be buying magic armor (which my character doesn't have as of yet.)

Theziner
Yes I purchased the +1 Pact Mordenkrad for my Warforged Warlock on the assumption that the creators were not idiots and therefore wouldn't add a property that does nothing. I never had one problem in LFR concerning the item property. I had two CS email responses to back up my claim that the Pact Hammer actually worked. On the otherhand I had multiple problems with DMs misinterperating shadow walk. Go figure.

All I want to do is swap it for a +1 Bloodclaw Mordenkrad now. My place of play doesn't particularly keep track of bought items, only gold spent. I'm probably just going to swap it out with nobody the wiser. Its stupid to have someone keep an errata'd item that is nolonger remotely useful to the character. I already have a +1 Terror Mordenkrad I found previously and I don't want to lose money when I could be buying magic armor (which my character doesn't have as of yet.)

Theziner

As long as you realize barring an update from WOTC and the RPGA that gives you rules on how to deal with the items in the errata, what you plan to do is cheating. Whether you get caught or not matters little. You have to decide if that is how you wish to conduct your life and gaming experience.
All I want to do is swap it for a +1 Bloodclaw Mordenkrad now. My place of play doesn't particularly keep track of bought items, only gold spent. I'm probably just going to swap it out with nobody the wiser.

Except for the fact that you just announced it to the world. :D
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Yah, that was about as silly as announcing you were thinking about committing a crime - on a message board run by and regularly read by the police.




-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
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