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Offline providence13

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Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:29:36 PM »
Ok, PC's were in combat last game and a
Demon was using an intelligent dancing sword. Used it for a rnd and it then could attack with part of the owner's OB. (Or even if it used inherent OB, doesn't matter.. maybe.)

Someone throws up an Utterdark. Monk has an OK Blind Fighting to offset some of the penalty. Demon has Darksight.
Would the swords get a penalty?
How do "dancing" weapons target?
Is it assumed they use the user's senses?
If they use Presence, then it is far more precise than I allow for the players when casting the same spell.
I wouldn't allow them to be stunned, blinded, etc. so are they affected by the spell at all? Why not?
Because the demon can inherently use Darksight, should the swords?
But what if a human used a similar weapon?

Any ideas are welcome.
"The Lore spell assaults your senses- Roll on the spontaneous human combustion table; twice!"

Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 03:13:31 PM »
The spells and treasure effects seems to indicate that there is an intelligence moving the weapon.

I guess it would be similar to how an Elemental can find its target and attack.

If the weapon can defend against animal attacks, then it is more powerful than the Presence spell, since normally it wouldn't detect animal intelligence.

If it detects "weapons" then maybe if the enemy throws its own weapon aside, the Defender Weapon will attack the weapon laying on the ground instead of the enemy.

There is also the chance to make it Realm dependent. If the spell/effect is from Mentalism magic, make it target "Mind". If it is from Essence, make it target "Life". If it is from Channeling, make it target "Soul".

You could say it detects "hostility", but in that case the OB may need to be reduced at least by 50, since it would be like attacking someone invisible when you know it is there. You know where to strike, but can't make the fine details of the contour of your enemy.

In any case, I wouldn't tie it to "human" senses, so utterdark, silence and the like shouldn't make a difference.

Offline providence13

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Re: Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 12:58:14 AM »
Hey, thanks for the feedback. Lots of points of interest there.  :)
Yes, we established that the weapon is magically intelligent.
I can see your take on elementals. Maybe they don't target by normal senses either.. good point.
I attempted to establish that Presence was not applicable, since you might need the sword to defend vs an opponent with out a presence; a steampunk construct, for example.
Realm dependent.. I hear what you are saying, but I think that would limit the weapon's ability to perform...
You're right. Human senses are right out the window. I agree but I'm trying to reason "why" and "how" it works.

Here's another way to look at it.
Can you get flank, or rear on a dancing weapon?  Probably not, unless it were occupied with another opponent.
Or is it a "sphere of influence" that doesn't care about facing?
It's turtles all the way down..
"The Lore spell assaults your senses- Roll on the spontaneous human combustion table; twice!"

Offline jdale

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Re: Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2017, 08:39:50 AM »
From a rules perspective, I would say powers are not granted by vague implication or reading between the lines. If it's not stated, it's not there. The default assumption should be that it has the same sensory abilities as the wielder (and likewise rear and flank are the same as a person). Otherwise, especially if it is able to communicate, it's not just a dancing sword, it's now a dancing sword + a continuous Presence spell (or whatever you've granted it).

But for fun you might want to decide more about how it works and that might involve changing those parameters. Just be aware that doing so may be a power-up.

It could just work off the senses of the wielder, essentially motivated by a bit of their subconscious. In that case it is aware of only what the wielder sees. You could have some fun with unanticipated actions if there is something odd going on in their subconscious. Maybe the sword is extra careful to guard a particular ally the character has feelings for, or it makes threatening moves against an ally the character distrusts or dislikes.

It could have its own spirit bound to it like an invisible person who happens to be permanently ethereal. Could be interesting if anyone else in the party ever becomes ethereal for any reason.

It could have an undead spirit bound to it. In that case it probably has undead lifesense.

It could be a mentalism construct acting on the basis of presence. The weakness against mindless foes helps balance the advantage of having presence all the time.

Offline providence13

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Re: Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 03:14:13 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. Good ideas there. (Like a hand-off aura the weapon gains from the host.)
Yeah, I'm not wanting to give "extra" powers, I'm trying to "define" how it works.
Sure, we could say "just treat it like a sword shaped person and be done with it".
I tried to say Detect Presence (as used in RM) could not work. You only get a 5' rad, Yes or No (if I recall the spell correctly). Not good enough for melee.

Treasure Companion: Weapon Effects V
Guardian Defender- fights with 1/2 user's OB (AT 20 and 75 DB) for 1 hr if user KO'd or dead. Must have Low Intelligence.

If the user is blind, would the weapon zero in/target the sounds of someone moving? Could A LOUD sound then reduce it's OB?
The old blind beggar/monk with a Guardian Defender staff is protecting the temple. Is his stick blind? :)

If the weapon is keeping attackers at bay for an hour (!), then I need to know what happens before the players pull some shenanigans.
I like these GM exercises. They help define my world for the players. Even if the players don't know the hows and whys, it makes for a better game.
Can't believe it hasn't come up before..
"The Lore spell assaults your senses- Roll on the spontaneous human combustion table; twice!"

Offline Cory Magel

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Re: Mods for intelligent "dancing" weapons and Utterdark (etc)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 01:43:29 PM »
Very interesting dilemma.

I guess I'd start with this: Can it perform without any attention, physical or mental, of the wielder?

If using the OB of the wielder in some fashion that implies that the wielder is actively involved on some level and I would default to the wielders senses.

If not using the OB of the wielder, and the item has its own 'stats', I would say the item itself needs to have some kind of 'sensory' ability.  Obviously it doesn't have the normal stuff (eyes/ears) and obviously the 'sensory' ability is, somehow, magical in nature.  A lot depends on how the item came to be.  If it was created by a being then there are a lot of spells that would have to go into it.  How does it communicate for example?  A telepathy spell of some kind probably needed to be cast during creation to facilitate that.  So my initial reaction, in that case, is that the weapon would need to be provided a property which grants the equivalent of sensory input.  Basically detection spells of some kind.  This could lead to interesting limits on a weapon.  If 'Detect Life' was used it would not be able to 'see' things that are not alive (undead, constructs, etc).  This could get even more interesting if, say, a weapon that used 'detect life' was being used by a Necromancer with undead allies.  If the weapon was sent into a melee it might inadvertently hit the undead while trying to attack living targets.

On the other hand if some mysterious unknown or divine force (whatever you want) resulted in the items creation you could justify pretty much anything you want and not really have to explain it.
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Game design priority: Fun > Balance > Realism (> = greater than).
(Channeling Companion, RMQ 1 & 2, and various Guild Companion articles author).

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