I like making items that have an upside and a downside.

I like making items that have an upside and a downside.

I like making items that have an upside and a downside. It requires the player to make a choice as to whether or not they’ll use it.

Can I get some feedback on my latest? I’d like my party to find it in the next session or two and want to work out any kinks…

Blood Oath Bow

An ancient bow stained black by what must be centuries of dried blood.

When you use Blood Oath Bow to Volley, roll as normal but treat the result as 10. Then take damage based on the actual roll.

10+ 1d6

7-9 1d8

6- 1d10. Do not Mark Experience.

The idea being that you always automatically hit with it, but at a price.

Any thoughts please? Thanks!

13 thoughts on “I like making items that have an upside and a downside.”

  1. Not sure I am a fan. It feels like you are removing the choice from volley and replacing it with some arbitrary damage. I would instead add a choice to 7-9 that gives the option to take damage and deal damage, and possibly add that as a requirement on a miss.

  2. I don’t consider taking direct damage to be a good downside in any capacity because all it does is dis-empower the player when they get low on health.

    A better down side would be that the player has to make a blood oath on the bow to kill a particular creature/individual or group. Thrones of blood will sprout from it whenever it is fired at something(someone) that isn’t part of the blood oath, inflicting harm on the user.

    And not getting EXP on a 6- is against the rules. If you role it should be because the player can in some way mess up (in the fiction) and learn from their failures. If it’s just something that can happen by pure chance then the player should never have to role. Simply make it noted that a GM can soft move it against you.

  3. I agree with both of you. I had in my head that the bows originator had pleaded with his God to help him destroy the invading orcs (or whatever) at any cost. The God granted his wish, imbuing his bow with the ability to never miss, but as he made the final killing shot he dropped dead. It also has the built-in GM move of “use up their resources” because the user will be constantly using the parties healing potions and magic.

    Both the damage ranges and “no experience” on 6- are there because I didn’t want a player with a low Dexterity using the Bow because it always hits, but he gains XP even when he rolled a miss.

    I’ll rework it and post again on it soon. Thanks!

  4. How about this:

    Blood Oath Bow: When you swear a mighty oath to kill an individual on the blood of the ancients, you are gifted this bow. Until you complete your oath, you cannot gain experience from failure. You always know the direction of your victim, and at least one means of travelling towards them. When you attack your victim with this bow, on a 12+, you may choose to kill them, but the bow disappears.

  5. I like that as well, and it really takes away my need for no experience because if your goal is now 12+ for the big effect, a low DEX character won’t be using it. I’m thinking of combining some of these ideas with Mike and Patrick’s.

    Maybe the move becomes:

    When you use Blood Oath Bow to Volley against the creature type with whom you have the Blood Oath, on a 12+ you may kill it, but if you do, take damage equal to your damage die.

    1) Now it’s just adding a new choice to the result table, which several other Moves do.

    2) Damage is not arbitrary, and you’re still getting the normal Volley choices.

    3) You don’t break the “Always Mark XP on a 6-” rule while still ensuring that a low DEX character isn’t the primary user

    4) A great roll offers you an important choice: Deal damage as normal OR kill it but take damage yourself.

    How does this strike everyone?

  6. This bow can always hit, if you give yourself to it. Roll a volley, with these additional rules

    On 7-9 You also take half of the damage you deal to your target. Your target still takes full damage.

    On 6- You and your target share the damage, you take half the roll and they only take half damage.

    It could be interesting fictionally have something being fueled or filled up by the sacrifice this bow is taking.

  7. Shaken, Not Stirred and Gary Chadwick, I like both of those too. I still REALLY like the idea of always dealing damage, so I lean more towards Gary Chadwick’s move. I can combine it with the “auto-kill” for a 12+, and still have the Volley choices under 7-9 as well.

    Maybe it’s “fueling” a Debility. Take enough damage, or take damage enough times, and you have to choose a Debility you don’t already have. Maybe rather than “fueling” something, the “auto-kill” feature causes a Debility. That reduces bookkeeping, and limits the number of times you can use it without really crippling your character. Maybe too harsh?

    I’ll play around with that aspect of the bow as well. Any additional ideas for that would be great.

    Thanks to everyone who has commented! Design in a vacuum is no fun and this weapon has already changed a lot from my original treatment (for the better), while still clinging to my idea of a bow that makes you pay for it’s accuracy.

    Any further comments would be much appreciated, as my players won’t find this Bow until next week.

    Thanks again!

  8. As a secondary thought, how does everyone feel about bane-type weapons? I don’t actually want to create an Orc’s Bane for example because I feel that corners me as a GM. To make it relevant I have to use more of the creature type that this weapon excels against.

    I’m shifting more towards [Demon’s Name] Promise for the item’s name, which frees me up to make it any type of weapon (although I’m still probably going to use a ranged weapon). One of the tropes of a demon is to grant a wish or boon with a catch, which melds nicely with what I’m trying to create. It also allows more freedom to the GM, and adds Lore to the world as we discover the demon whom created the weapon.

    Just some thoughts…

  9. Shaken, Not Stirred… Oh dang. An interesting thought that never occurred to me. I don’t know if I’ll go that way with it, but with a minor change to my main antagonist this weapon could tie several plot lines together. Thanks!

Comments are closed.