Not to sound harsh, but the biggest issue with this hazard is that it is very hard to not only read, but also figure out what exactly how hazard is suppose to work. In addition, you have far too many fiddly exceptions for something that should either be a minor speed bump or interesting set piece. I literally
had to break out a notepad to parse this thing.
In short, this reads more like a rough draft rather than something that's ready to be critqued. Everything needs to be rewritten to so that the writing is more concise, the mechanics more simplified, or both.
That said, I do have some insights you might find helpful.
Hazards don't have properties. And as far as I can tell, both your Effect and Property lines should be condensed under the Hazard
entry. But that's a minor nitpick compared to the sheer number and complexity of properties you have here, which is my biggest complaint with your hazard. Here's my suggestion of how it could be condensed.
Hazard: A purpleish flame emits an aura out to 4 squares. Each square in the aura is treated as under dim light, reguardless of the presense of any other light source.
Creatures inside the aura are invisible to creatures outside of the aura that have normal vision.
While inside the aura, creatures with normal vision treat each square outside of the aura as heavily obscured. Creatures with lowlight vision or darkvision treat each square outside of the aura as lightly obscured.
Powers with the arcane keyword used while in the aura or targeting a creature in the aura take a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
In addition, item powers cannot be activated while inside the aura.
Notice that I made a few changes to the effect. The aura and and the light radius are now the same and reference the same mechanic, which greatly simplifies everything greatly. Additionally, I removed the damage penalty. A penalty to attack and damage is extremely harsh and takes the hazard from being an interesting challenge to just plain punishing and frustrating. And instead of trying to specifically limit certain types of item actions, I just removed the ability to use item powers, which effectively does the same thing. And finally, I excluded mention of blindsight and truesight. The rules text for each of these already covers the interactions that would happen with this hazard. So including them in the hazard's description is unnecessarily excessive.
Counter-Measure: A PC with a DC Moderate in either Arcana while within the __________________’s aura would recognized the lighting source as the source of the difficulties the PC’s are having with their arcane powers during the encounter and the PC knows that with further examinations (by making a DC Arcana as a standard actions) the PC might find a way counter it effects. When a PC makes a DC Moderate Arcana as a standard action; the ____________ extinguish itself. (If a PC’s first DC check as a non- standard action equals a DC Hard+2 of any of the three mentioned above than the __________’s extinguish itself with no explanation given the player for what just happened or why it did that. )
A quite a few issues here.
First, formatting. Each counter-measure should its own bullet. Additionally, you need to explicitly list your DCs. I shouldn't need to go look up the revised DMG errata just to use this item. Doing these will make your content easier to read and use.
Second, noticing a hazard, or recognizing it for what it is, is not a countermeasure. Though that knowledge can aid a countermeasure. The first check you provide would be more appropriate under the perception section (which is missing and needs to be included).
Third, you need to explicitly state what a successful countermeasure will do. Does it extinguish the light completely? Does it end the aura's effect and convert the magical fire to regular fire? Something else?
Fourth, that last section should be removed. The only active checks you allow to counter the hazard are standard actions, so this section will never trigger anyway. Unless you intend for the that last section to trigger off of using Arcana to recognize the hazard. It so, it doesn't really make much sense to me. Because that would imply that if you recognize the light is a hazard "real hard", it goes out? How exactly does that even work? It would also imply that any additional lights should also go out since the character has already recognized them for what they are.
Ok! How about name suggestions?
I can't think of anything interesting. I would just call it "anti-magic lantern" or "lantern of arcane dampening". Yes, I am that boring
September 21, 2012 10:22 PM PDT
Why not go for the obvious name and call it Purple Haze?