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Johnny Angel 07-13-2010 08:08 PM

Mage Blade
 
This is an idea I've been kicking around in my head for a little while, so I decided to try to hash some of it out. The idea was to find a way to use the Force Sword in a non-futuristic setting; more specifically, a fantasy setting. The idea of a 'Mage Blade' seemed interesting; it's pretty much a light saber which is powered by Magery.


Mage Blade (DX - 5 or any other sword skill at -3)
TL......Weapon......Damage......Reach......Parry.. ....Cost......weight......ST
^......Mage Blade....spec..........1,2...........0.......$12,0 00........2...........3



The idea I have for the damage is to base it off of the user's magery level. Eventually, the damage will cap at the normal 8d (5) burn which the Force Sword does. I'm still playing around with the progression, but, for now, I'm going with something like the following:

Magery 0 - 1d (.5)
Magery 1 - 2d burn
Magery 2 - 4d burn
Magery 3 - 6d burn (2)
Magery 4 - 8d burn (2)
Magery 5 - 8d burn (5)

Magery 3 is usually recommended cap for Magery, so I'm sure I will come back to modify this later. For now, I just needed a rough draft to start from.

Aside from damage, the other main difference between a 'Mage Blade' and the Force Sword which it is based up is the manner in which a Mage Blade is powered. A Mage Blade is powered by the energy of the mage himself; part of his own life force is linked to the blade when it is forged. In game terms, this means that some FP is used to power the weapon instead of batteries. A typical Mage Blade can hold up to 2 FP; with each FP providing 150 seconds of use... 300 total for a Mage Blade containing 2 FP.



Misc Thoughts:

I'm not 100% sure how mana levels should impact the power of a Mage Blade. Campaigns 481 has guidelines for how magic items function at different levels of magery, but I envision Mage Blades being a little bit different from being just another magic item. An idea I've considered is having the magery level of an area effect the level at which a Mage Blade functions. Low Mana would cause a MB to function at one level less; high mana would cause a MB to function at one level higher.

Example - Someone with Magery 1 would deal 2d burn with a MB. In a low mana area, this drops to the Magery 0 level of 1d (.5). In a very low mana area or a no mana area, it would not work at all. In a high mana area, his MB would function at the Magery 2 level and deal 4d burn; likewise, in a very high mana area, his MB would function at the Magery 3 level.

I am not sure how something like twisted mana would come into play, but, offhand, I am guessing that the wielder may get some backlash damage when using a Mage Blade.



Any limitations applied to the user's magery advantage should also apply to their mage blade. Thus, night aspected magery would only allow for someone to use their Mage Blade at night. Dance aspected magery would require dancing to turn the MB on and/or off.


I am contemplating the idea of removing the burn damage from the base damage and having mages who are associated with a specific college of magic having mage blades with different effects. A fire college mage would deal burn damage; an earth college mage might cause extra knockback; etc; etc.

Mark Skarr 07-13-2010 08:20 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
That is a ridiculous amount of damage for a fantasy game. Thatís ST 33/34 swing damage for a Magery 3 character (with an Armor Divisor!), and ST 22 swing damage for a Magery 2 character. You suddenly become the party damage dealer. Who cares t hat it costs you 2 FP per 2.5 minutes . . . thatís longer than the fight is expected to last, and, once they see your weapon, theyíre not likely to want to continue fighting.

Unless the other characters are packing ultra-tech weapons or armor, itís drastically unfair.

Johnny Angel 07-13-2010 08:28 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr (Post 1015574)
That is a ridiculous amount of damage for a fantasy game. Thatís ST 33/34 swing damage for a Magery 3 character (with an Armor Divisor!), and ST 22 swing damage for a Magery 2 character. You suddenly become the party damage dealer. Who cares t hat it costs you 2 FP per 2.5 minutes . . . thatís longer than the fight is expected to last, and, once they see your weapon, theyíre not likely to want to continue fighting.

Unless the other characters are packing ultra-tech weapons or armor, itís drastically unfair.

That is one of the concerns I have. I'm playing with the numbers a little bit, but I haven't found something which seems to quite fit.

I'd like to limit it more, but I don't want to limit it so much that it's no longer worth it.

Hannes665 07-13-2010 08:28 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr (Post 1015574)
That is a ridiculous amount of damage for a fantasy game. That’s ST 33/34 swing damage for a Magery 3 character (with an Armor Divisor!), and ST 22 swing damage for a Magery 2 character. You suddenly become the party damage dealer. Who cares t hat it costs you 2 FP per 2.5 minutes . . . that’s longer than the fight is expected to last, and, once they see your weapon, they’re not likely to want to continue fighting.

Unless the other characters are packing ultra-tech weapons or armor, it’s drastically unfair.

I must agree, for a none Ultra Tech game this is very high damage. Consider that a heavy armored knight in Plate and Mail would have DR 7+5/3 = 12/10. Even with full magical armor protection of +5 he "only" gets DR 17/15.

In a TL 0-4 (even 5-8) game I would consider granting the weapon different damage and recalculate itīs armor divider.

Example. Mage Blade - Based on Broadsword Sw +2 cut Thr +1 Imp.
Magery 0 +1
Magery 1 +2
Magery 2 +3 (2)
Magery 3 +1d (2)
Magery 4 +1d+1 (3)
Magery 5 +1d+2 (3)
Magery 6 +1d+3 (5)
Magery 7 +2d (5)
Magery 8 +2d+1 (10)
Magery 9 +2d+2 (10)
Magery 10 +3d (100)

So a Wizard with ST 9 and Magery 0 would swing the sword doing 1d+2 Magery 3 2d+1 (2). He could hurt most armored enemies in any TL 0-4 campaign.

This would be a fitting "Lightsaber" for a normal Fantasy game, even DF game.

Of course there is nothing that says that the blade canīt be Fine or Very Fine adding +1 and +2.

Mark Skarr 07-13-2010 08:35 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Angel (Post 1015577)
That is one of the concerns I have. I'm playing with the numbers a little bit, but I haven't found something which seems to quite fit.

I'd like to limit it more, but I don't want to limit it so much that it's no longer worth it.

Ninja'd.

Good answer, Hannes665. It was better than mine.

Johnny Angel 07-13-2010 08:40 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hannes665 (Post 1015578)
I must agree, for a none Ultra Tech game this is very high damage. Consider that a heavy armored knight in Plate and Mail would have DR 7+5/3 = 12/10. Even with full magical armor protection of +5 he "only" gets DR 17/15.

In a TL 0-4 (even 5-8) game I would consider granting the weapon different damage and recalculate itīs armor divider.

Example. Mage Blade - Based on Broadsword Sw +2 cut Thr +1 Imp.
Magery 0 +1
Magery 1 +2
Magery 2 +3 (2)
Magery 3 +1d (2)
Magery 4 +1d+1 (3)
Magery 5 +1d+2 (3)
Magery 6 +1d+3 (5)
Magery 7 +2d (5)
Magery 8 +2d+1 (10)
Magery 9 +2d+2 (10)
Magery 10 +3d (100)

So a Wizard with ST 9 and Magery 0 would swing the sword doing 1d+2 Magery 3 2d+1 (2). He could hurt most armored enemies in any TL 0-4 campaign.

This would be a fitting "Lightsaber" for a normal Fantasy game, even DF game.

Of course there is nothing that says that the blade canīt be Fine or Very Fine adding +1 and +2.

Interesting... something I will consider.


I was looking at the damage for fireball and thinking about loosely basing the Mage Blade damage on that.

My original post was just meant to be a starting point from which to adjust the rough idea.

munin 07-13-2010 08:48 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
I think a Powered Penetrating Flame Jet enchantment should be your guide here, since it produces the most similar effect. We'll offset adding the ability to parry by removing the ability to have one per hand.
Code:

Damage  Flame Jet    Power  Penetrating      Total
1d        $27,200  $16,500            --    $43,700
2d        $27,200  $33,000            --    $60,200
4d        $27,200  $132,000            --    $159,200
6d (2)    $27,200  $528,000        $8,250    $563,450
8d (2)    $27,200  $2,112K        $8,250  $2,147,450
8d (5)    $27,200  $2,112K      $82,500  $2,221,700

The fact that you can only access various levels depending on your Magery level is a minor inconvenience of the fact that a Flame Jet enchantment is usable only be mages.

Mark Skarr 07-13-2010 08:49 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Angel (Post 1015583)
Interesting... something I will consider.


I was looking at the damage for fireball and thinking about loosely basing the Mage Blade damage on that.

My original post was just meant to be a starting point from which to adjust the rough idea.

But, keep in mind that the FB's damage also costs FP every time it does it, not 2 FP over a long period of time.

malloyd 07-13-2010 08:51 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Skarr (Post 1015574)
That is a ridiculous amount of damage for a fantasy game.

Yes it is. And note there are already perfectly good Jet spells out there, a magic item for one of those will have a similar look and be much less unbalanced relative to the rest of the stuff in a fantasy world.

I have actually allowed mages to conjure a supernatural blade weapon, but it didn't go over 3d and I priced it as a separate advantage, not something included in Magery. Since 4e provides quite nice rules for Innate Attacks that 3e didn't, I'd restat it using those if I did it again.

If you really wanted the standard forceblade Innate Attack (Burning, 8d, Armor Divisor (5) +150%, Melee Attack (C,1) -20%) is a 92 point advantage. Turning it into a Gadget is still going to leave it somewhere around 50 points unless you make it unreliable, which pretty strongly hints as to why stacking it for free on top of Magery 3 might not be a good idea when there's nothing else in the campaign that's scaled against that.

A less unbalancing version looking more like what I've used before might be (Toxic 3d, Melee (C,1) -20%, Costs Fatigue (1/turn) -10%, requires a Ready action to turn on the first turn (a little better than Takes Extra Time 1, call it -5%)) [8] not a *whole* lot better than a sword, or a jet spell, for not a whole lot more points.

Johnny Angel 07-13-2010 09:04 PM

Re: Mage Blade
 
I like the damage progression Hannes responded with, but, from a thematic view, I don't see ST adding to damage.

I also don't want to step on the toes of Imbuements or Innate Attacks. I was trying to build something similar to both of those, but not exactly the same thing. Mainly I was playing with the idea of trying to fit something similar to a Jedi or a into a fantasy setting. From there, I was also playing with other ideas of how to refluff a few high/ultra-tech items into magical or supernatural items.


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