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Intelligent Weapons with Egos

 
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Intelligent Weapons with Egos Reply with quote

Just wondering how you all handle intelligent weapons with egos...I am somewhat 'new' to the situation given their rarity. I know that the DM has the final ruling on all such matters (I appreciate the MysticScholar sentiment that they are 'guidelines') and wonder about the following particular issues:

1) Will a sentient weapon with an Ego always 'lash out' against anyone who touches it if they are not of the same alignment (I understand that Neutrally aligned weapons have greater 'flexibility' on this issue and don't need total alignment compliance)? Or does the weapon have 'control' over this magical assault? Would it first give a 'warning' before unleashing an attack on the transgressor?

2) Is the damage suffered a magical attack? It never says one way or the other what causes the damage, much less how it is invoked. I imagine it is some type of magical energy that is released by the weapon.

3) Do any of you permit a saving throw (vs. Magic, for instance) for half damage?

4) Can an intelligent weapon elect to try to control/dominate a person INSTEAD OF damaging him/her? Or does this only happen with somebody who shares the same alignment as the weapon?

thank you for your responses,

-Lanthorn
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You invoked Demogorgon? Really? Is that safe? Evil Grin Laughing

These are my answers to your questions, for what they're worth.

1. The weapon is sentient, so it always has control over its actions. However, an intelligent weapon will always oppose a creature of opposite alignment. A "Lawful Good" weapon will seek the demise of a "Chaotic Evil" character, resisting that character's attempts at using the weapon and seeking the character's death as soon as possible.

2. Personally, I don't use "magical attacks," per sae. The sentience of the weapon is purely "mental ability," therefore, I prefer a psionic attack. Any of them work, but I wouldn't give the weapon too wide a range of Sciences, though the Clairsentient Power would be one: Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Precognition, etc..

Then perhaps Psychokinesis, or Telepathy.

3. Yes, I permit a Saving Throw, allowing for half damage, or for resisting the possession. The Saving Throw would have to be made for each new attack. Fighting against the weapon would not be easy, as I would treat it as a minor artifact.

4. Yes. The weapon may well want to relocate, it is intelligent, after all. So it might resist the urge to "kill" the person immediately, though the death of a person of opposite alignment would be the weapon's ultimate goal.

When all is said and done, let us know how you chose to handle it. Should be interesting. Cool
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Last edited by Mystic-Scholar on Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lanthorn
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Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MYSTIC! Long time...too long...

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions on the matter.

For the record, I like your take on all the aforementioned issues and am leaning towards your ideas and interpretations.

It would stand to reason, in my mind, that sentient weapons MUST have some innate ability to detect alignment. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to find compatibility with possessors, much less find others less desirable. Thusly, I imagine any spell or item that cloaks an individual's alignment would potentially confound a sentient weapon...at least it would not have any idea or clue (barring a special power or ability) what the alignment is of the new wielder.

Anyone else is welcome to chime in.

with respect and thanks,

Lanthorn
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Wolfling
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting topic Lanthorn, one which, to be honest, I haven't put much thought to in the past.

I've always just run the rules pretty much as read, with the weapon emiting a charge of undefined energy, mostly like a shock, to anyone handling it eligible to receive such damage. Admittedly that's a lazy approach. I do tend to allow the weapon to exercise discretion as like Mystic said the weapon is sentient afterall.

Going along a psionics route makes sense but I find psionics a complication generally that I usually avoid so I don't have to tackle them. I think it's a path definitely worth looking into though so I may think about intelligent weapons along that route myself.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Will a sentient weapon with an Ego always 'lash out' against anyone who touches it if they are not of the same alignment (I understand that Neutrally aligned weapons have greater 'flexibility' on this issue and don't need total alignment compliance)? Or does the weapon have 'control' over this magical assault? Would it first give a 'warning' before unleashing an attack on the transgressor?

Opinions will vary, but I would say it depends on the alignment/background of the weapon. An intelligent weapon that can detect alignment will know if a person will get hurt by touching it, and if that person is of an alignment/background that doesn't greatly offend the weapon, but that is not compatible with the weapon, it might give a warning not to touch it (if it can). Otherwise, an intelligent weapon will do damage to an incompatible person who touches it (but that is not touched by it: meaning that a chaotic good hero holding a lawful evil sword of DEATH wrapped up in a blanket, but with the hilt uncovered, can't use the hilt to "touch to death" an anti-paladin; such damage is likewise not dealt when the weapon is properly used to attack an enemy of an incompatible alignment). If the weapon cannot detect alignment, it could give vague warning if above to communicate, such as "Only those of pure heart can wield me.", but it may only deliver such a message to one who reaches for the weapon (and only if it wants to in the first place). Weapons that are intelligent, but that cannot detect alignment or communicate, only know when someone is compatible or not, and so should do damage to anything incompatible. When the paladin goes down, sorry, but his chaotic good ranger buddy can't just pick up that intelligent lawful good holy avenger without taking damage just because the holy avenger knows the chaotic good ranger is currently serving the same goals as the paladin. Intelligent weapons do not have total autonomy over what they do, because they were made to be a certain way. You may as well tell fire not to burn stuff.

2) Is the damage suffered a magical attack? It never says one way or the other what causes the damage, much less how it is invoked. I imagine it is some type of magical energy that is released by the weapon.

Yes, it is a magical attack of indeterminable sort, so protections...other than something like protection from magic or an anti-magic field effect...do not protect.

3) Do any of you permit a saving throw (vs. Magic, for instance) for half damage?

Nope! Take it all! The defense is *NOT TO TOUCH IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!* You don't know anything until you try it out, but then, of course, it's too late! Laughing It is not as if there isn't a readily accessible spell to know alignment, which does work on aligned weapons. If one doesn't use such a spell on a powerful weapon before touching it, well, their stupidity may very well be punished. Evil Grin

4) Can an intelligent weapon elect to try to control/dominate a person INSTEAD OF damaging him/her? Or does this only happen with somebody who shares the same alignment as the weapon?

DM's choice, but I would say no. Aligned weapons are about serving a cause/purpose (even if only serving the aims of their alignment), and so won't allow those inimical to them to it wield the weapon, even if the weapon was dominating the person. The weapon would rather eradicate (or at the very least discourage) such a person, and so just does damage to such incompatible targets. This also allows for some protection against a powerful intelligent weapon dominating a person inimical to it such that said inimical person is made to not be able to let go of the weapon and so take damage until dead (because what purpose would that really serve). Doing damage is a defense mechanism against the weapon being used/abused by those who are not aligned closely enough with its values/purpose.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
MYSTIC! Long time...too long...


I pop in, now and again, but these days, I haven't found much that interest me in many of the discussions. But I keep an eye out. Thanks! Cool

Lanthorn wrote:
Thusly, I imagine any spell or item that cloaks an individual's alignment would potentially confound a sentient weapon...at least it would not have any idea or clue (barring a special power or ability) what the alignment is of the new wielder.


And that's why I suggested the Telepathy Power. If the weapon in question can read minds:

"Mindlink allows the user to communicate wordlessly with any intelligent creature he can contact (Intelligence 5 or greater on a human scale)." Complete Psionics Handbook, page 67.

"Probe is similar to ESP (a telepathic devotion), but a probe allows psionicists to dig much deeper into a subjectís subconscious. If the subject fails a saving throw vs. spells, then all his memories and knowledge are accessible to the prober." Complete Psionics Handbook, page 68.

Hiding your alignment, or intentions, from the sentient weapon is not as easy as one thinks. Shocked Wink

Wolfing wrote:
I find psionics a complication generally that I usually avoid . . .


The answer to that is simple; Just acquaint yourself with the Psionic abilities you plan on allowing the weapon. There is no reason to allow a Psionic character into your game.

In fact, that could well add to the confusion of your players, as they try to figure out exactly what's going on. Evil Grin
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason why I suggest that intelligent weapons must have some inherent Know Alignment ability is for them to ascertain if the possessor is antithetical, or congruent with, their own alignment. Otherwise, there is no way for them to determine who is, or is not, of their own philosophical ethos.

Another question:

Do intelligent weapons have any sensory abilities to perceive the world around them (like vision, hearing, etc.)? Or are they completely limited to perceptions they garner via their handler (through empathy or telepathy)?

-Lanthorn
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
The reason why I suggest that intelligent weapons must have some inherent Know Alignment ability is for them to ascertain if the possessor is antithetical, or congruent with, their own alignment. Otherwise, there is no way for them to determine who is, or is not, of their own philosophical ethos.


I get that, but the weapon is not so much choosing to harm something not compatible to it; it is just a quality that is has. A hot piece of metal can no more choose/not choose to burn a human while not burning an azer (because an azer is simply immune to being burned). Think of this damage as not conscious damage being done but something similar to the example of the hot metal above, because the weapon is not choosing to do it at all. Aligned weapons can only be made by individuals of the same alignment, and the materials used in making them are likewise mystically keyed to that alignment. As such, the item is inherently inimical in a physical/magical manner to things opposed to it, and the weapon can no more "turn off" this damage feature any more than it can "turn off" its bonus to hit.

Lanthorn wrote:
Do intelligent weapons have any sensory abilities to perceive the world around them (like vision, hearing, etc.)? Or are they completely limited to perceptions they garner via their handler (through empathy or telepathy)?

-Lanthorn


This is really subjective, but for the most part I would link such things to the level of intelligence of the weapon, if I allowed it at all. Some weapons may only be aware of being picked up or of being used against a hated foe, so they don't have any real senses (empathetic weapons). Others might have basic human senses, though nothing beyond basic levels (with maybe even a shorter range), as more than that would literally be giving the bearer something extra, and so be a power (talking weapons). A weapon with telepathy will be aware of the thoughts of its possessor and so pick up on any sensory information second hand.

The main problem with giving full sensory capability to intelligent weapons is that it leads to "characters with eyes in the back of their head" syndrome, meaning the weapons themselves can keep an eye out in ways that the character is unable to, and that is literally a beneficial power which seems to me like it would need to be a specific enchantment, and particularly something more suitable to artifact level items. Even then, it makes more sense for the form to be something like Queen Ehlissa's Marvelous Nightingale rather than a weapon.

And so perhaps the best thing would be to limit the more intelligent weapon's sensory capabilities only to that which their bearer is aware of. I would not allow it for empathetic weapons at all, as I can just see it now...

Magic Sword: Buzz! Buzz!
Wielder: "What's wrong, boy?!"
Magic Sword: Buzz BUZZ!
Wielder "Timmy's trapped in a well?!"
Magic Sword: BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ!
Wielder: "Good job, boy! We gotta save him!"

I would just be very careful as to what you allow. The sort of items I would perhaps allow the greatest latitude to would be those which have the soul of a being trapped within them, but those will be exceedingly rare.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
. . . intelligent weapons . . . ability . . . to ascertain if the possessor is antithetical, or congruent with, their own alignment.

Do intelligent weapons have any sensory abilities to perceive the world around them . . .


And that's why I suggested Psionic power, rather than magical. The Clairsentience Power allows for all of the abilities you seek: Aura Sight, All-Round Vision, Danger Sense, the list is endless.

The Clairsentience Science, Object Reading, offers this: "Object reading is the ability to detect psychic impressions left on an object by its previous owner, including his race, sex, age, and alignment. The power can also reveal how the owner came to possess the item, as well as how he lost it . . ."

As you can see, Psionic abilities offer your "intelligent weapon" all kinds of options. Between Object Reading and Probe, your intelligent weapon can know almost anything there is to know about the person holding it.

I thought you had a copy of The Complete Psionics Handbook? This is the 2nd Edition thread, you know? Or did you just want me to do your homework for you? Missed me that much, did you? Laughing Evil Grin

As Cebrion pointed out: It only depends upon the intelligence level of the weapon.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic-Scholar wrote:

I thought you had a copy of The Complete Psionics Handbook? This is the 2nd Edition thread, you know? Or did you just want me to do your homework for you? Missed me that much, did you? Laughing Evil Grin


YUP! Of course I do! Cool

To be perfectly honest, I've never been a big fan of psionics. Shocked

as always, thanks for your input, gents,

-Lanthorn
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