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Legacy Weapons?


Rules Questions


Are there rules for legacy weapons (items that "power up" as the character advances) anywhere in Pathfinder?


No such things.

Remember, even in 3.5, those were options introduced by a splat book; they were never part of the "core" game system.

Besides which, they were a great idea with an awful implementation. Hopefully if Paizo ever takes on the option, they'll do it a whole lot better.


I believe my GM is going to be using a few Legacy Weapons of his own device in our campaign; do you remember which splat book they were from so he can have a base to work with?

Thanks very much!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Legendary Weapons rules from Unearthed Arcana are open content and are posted on d20SRD. Not Pathfinder-specific and perhaps not the best implementation of the idea, but it is out there.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kilbourne wrote:

I believe my GM is going to be using a few Legacy Weapons of his own device in our campaign; do you remember which splat book they were from so he can have a base to work with?

Thanks very much!

Weapons of Legacy :)


Thanks very much guys, I'll link this on to my GM.

Andoran

Joana wrote:
Kilbourne wrote:

I believe my GM is going to be using a few Legacy Weapons of his own device in our campaign; do you remember which splat book they were from so he can have a base to work with?

Thanks very much!

Weapons of Legacy :)

If I'm remembering that book correctly... I hated it. What the heck's the point if the item in question is barely strong than a normal one, but requires a feat and penalizes another aspect of your character (hit points, spell slots, etc) while doing so.

If you removed the penalties and feat cost they could be fun as they added flavor abilities to an item, but the rules for constructing one were pretty restrictive. It was often a tricky thing to optimize (with respect to enhancement bonus and enhancement equivalent for armor/weapons) and a non-optimized item was much worse than an optimized one. It basically ended up relying on DM fiat to make it fun.*

My suggestion for a item-that-levels-with-you type thing is to create rules for it yourself from scratch. Or even just let the DM ad-hoc when/if it gets new abilities and what it gets when it does, if there's only one in the group. If you create simple enough rules like "gains something every 2-3 levels" or "has a +1 equivalent per two character levels, minimum +1" it should be easy to run and still give you the "growing" effect. The fun-factor should come from the flavor of how this upgrade occurs, or whether something visibly changes (like a rune on the hilt slowly getting more complex as it grows more powerful). Throw some story flavor on it and you should get an interesting item without needing complex rule-sets.

*A personal rant, not meant to be indicative of actual product quality.


StabbittyDoom wrote:
Joana wrote:
Kilbourne wrote:

I believe my GM is going to be using a few Legacy Weapons of his own device in our campaign; do you remember which splat book they were from so he can have a base to work with?

Thanks very much!

Weapons of Legacy :)

If I'm remembering that book correctly... I hated it. What the heck's the point if the item in question is barely strong than a normal one, but requires a feat and penalizes another aspect of your character (hit points, spell slots, etc) while doing so.

If you removed the penalties and feat cost they could be fun as they added flavor abilities to an item, but the rules for constructing one were pretty restrictive. It was often a tricky thing to optimize (with respect to enhancement bonus and enhancement equivalent for armor/weapons) and a non-optimized item was much worse than an optimized one. It basically ended up relying on DM fiat to make it fun.*

My suggestion for a item-that-levels-with-you type thing is to create rules for it yourself from scratch. Or even just let the DM ad-hoc when/if it gets new abilities and what it gets when it does, if there's only one in the group. If you create simple enough rules like "gains something every 2-3 levels" or "has a +1 equivalent per two character levels, minimum +1" it should be easy to run and still give you the "growing" effect. The fun-factor should come from the flavor of how this upgrade occurs, or whether something visibly changes (like a rune on the hilt slowly getting more complex as it grows more powerful). Throw some story flavor on it and you should get an interesting item without needing complex rule-sets.

*A personal rant, not meant to be indicative of actual product quality.

Yeah, the idea was AWESOME, the implementantion was crappiest of the crappiest... and this is indicative of actual product quality.

P.S:There is some good fluff there, like 5% of the book, and some art, and 10% of ther rules "ideas", the rest is trash material.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Honestly, the legacy weapons were how magic weapons and armor SHOULD be handled in 3.5, minus the retarded costs. If you are required to have a certain bonus to attacks at a certain level, you should just get it at that level.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

We took a stab at this kind of weapon in the Legacy of Fire adventure path. The concept of a weapon that "levels up with you" is certainly something we're interested in exploring at some point in the future...


James Jacobs wrote:
We took a stab at this kind of weapon in the Legacy of Fire adventure path. The concept of a weapon that "levels up with you" is certainly something we're interested in exploring at some point in the future...

YAY! :)

[owna$$kissing] Maybe the MAGUS should get something like that ... [/owna$$kissing] :)

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've always liked the idea of weapons/items that sometimes get different abilities based on their wielder. Like a longsword that (for a dual-wielder) splits in two as one of its abilities, but for a THF instead grows to be a two-handed weapon .
I did something similar with a scythe legendary item I was working on for a while that could be (as its basic power) wielded as though it was a one-handed weapon, but had a dual-wield path where-in it would split in twain and be treated as light when doing so. Along that path was an ability that (as a standard action) split two more "shards" off of the scythe to become wings, granting a 60ft fly speed.
Yes, it was an angelic-theme scythe. Get over it. If it makes you feel better, one of its enhancement-equivalent abilities was Merciful.

If I were to implement a legacy item type scheme in my games, it would basically be a weapon that starts as a +1 with some special ability, and gains another +1 equivalent every 2 levels (possibly delayed for more powerful special abilities). Then grant it some other unique property once every 3-5 levels. Done.

Angelic Scythe example (never did have a good name for it):
NOTE: All special abilities immediately cease to work when the weapon is no longer held.
Levels 1-2: +1 Scythe, treated as one-handed weapon, sizes for wielder
Level 3: Acts as a ring of feather-fall while held.
Level 4: Add merciful property.
Level 5: When using merciful, player may choose to leave them at a number of nonlethal damage points equal to their current hit points, or with a number of lethal damage points 1 more than their maximum hit points but stable (basically, "barely unconscious" or "barely alive").
Level 6: Becomes +2
Level 7: As a swift action, scythe can be split into two identical scythes that are one size smaller (but deal the same damage) and are treated as light weapons. This ability can be dismissed as a free action.
Level 9: Becomes Holy
Level 11: As a standard action, scythe can split off two chunks that attach to the wielder's back as wings, granting a 60ft (good) fly speed. This can be dismissed as a free action.
Level 12: Becomes +3
Level 14: Becomes Frost
Level 15: The level 7 power becomes a free action. In addition, the weapon's critical multiplier goes up by one (to x5).
Level 16: Becomes Icy Burst (instead of frost)
Level 18: Becomes +4
Level 19: When dealing non-lethal damage, the weapon gains a +5 bonus on weapon damage rolls.
Level 20: Becomes +5, Wings power can now be used as a free action, and the wings become decorative (maneuverability improves to perfect).
Level 21: Profit

Final tally: +5 Merciful, Holy, Icy Burst Scythe of Feather Fall and Flight, with 20x5 critical and ability to be either one-handed or split for dual-wield. Also always gives the wielder the option of leaving their foe alive.*

*Great for those nasty x5 crits (or x6 for 20th level fighters).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Honestly, the legacy weapons were how magic weapons and armor SHOULD be handled in 3.5, minus the retarded costs. If you are required to have a certain bonus to attacks at a certain level, you should just get it at that level.

I'm trying something like that out right now in my Kingmaker campaign...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you, I'm going to steal that for my next campaign.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Thank you, I'm going to steal that for my next campaign.

Cool. I'm curious to know how it impacts other campaigns, as well as my own (PCs in mine are currently only first level, so there's nothing going just yet).

I find it allows humanoid classed NPCs to be a bit more defensive and offensive without giving away tons of gold to the PCs in the form of "yet another ring of protection +1" or other things like that. It also makes more room for the fun treasure, rather than the basic stuff.

I just need to actually figure out what kind of adjustments to wealth by level gold I'll need to make.


Don't forget the Ancestral Relic feat in the Book of Exalted Deeds. You took a feat, sacrificed wealth, and spent some time in meditation, and bam, you can make your weapon into anything you want as you level up, no magic user or shop or anything else required. That might be a good start point as well.


Thing thing with Ancestral Relic is twofold - you're supposed to have a MW weapon or item that is an heirloom of your character, which generally seems to indicate you need to have started with it or lucked out in getting it. Moreover, with the actual mechanics involved, it basically just gives you permission to purchase magic items without needing to justify the increased bonus via MagicMart or a local wizard. It's not a bad feat, but it could at least reduce costs.

I whipped up a legacy weapon for a character once that I was really looking forward to playing with, but didn't quite get there. It doesn't actually cost you feats - the Legacy feats are bonus feats you get when you unlock the legacy rituals. It just gives you the darn penalties, often on things that you really need (warriors with legacy weapons may be less accurate than warriors without legacy weapons, for example), which is sort of silly. Nevertheless, if you get to design your own weapon's legacy, you can get some really nifty stuff.


Disciple of Sakura wrote:

Thing thing with Ancestral Relic is twofold - you're supposed to have a MW weapon or item that is an heirloom of your character, which generally seems to indicate you need to have started with it or lucked out in getting it. Moreover, with the actual mechanics involved, it basically just gives you permission to purchase magic items without needing to justify the increased bonus via MagicMart or a local wizard. It's not a bad feat, but it could at least reduce costs.

I whipped up a legacy weapon for a character once that I was really looking forward to playing with, but didn't quite get there. It doesn't actually cost you feats - the Legacy feats are bonus feats you get when you unlock the legacy rituals. It just gives you the darn penalties, often on things that you really need (warriors with legacy weapons may be less accurate than warriors without legacy weapons, for example), which is sort of silly. Nevertheless, if you get to design your own weapon's legacy, you can get some really nifty stuff.

Right, my point was more that it would be a good starting point for developing rules for that sort of weapon, a better place than the legacy weapon rules, in my opinion.


What about Swords of our Fathers, which I believe predated Weapons of Legacy. Was this any good?

Looks like they have their creation process online, and there were sequels (Rods & Staves, and Rings).


Disciple of Sakura wrote:
Thing thing with Ancestral Relic is twofold - you're supposed to have a MW weapon or item that is an heirloom of your character, which generally seems to indicate you need to have started with it or lucked out in getting it. Moreover, with the actual mechanics involved, it basically just gives you permission to purchase magic items without needing to justify the increased bonus via MagicMart or a local wizard. It's not a bad feat, but it could at least reduce costs.

It's a little stronger than that.

You can upgrade your weapon instantly, right in a dungeon. No need to go find a wizard and pay him to upgrade, then wait weeks or months while he works on it.

That alone is worth a feat.

And if you're in a campaign with "low magic" or with a DM who despises the Magic Mart concept and never has magic items for sale (or never has the ones you want), then your Ancestral Relic might be worth 10 feats.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anybody know where in the Legacy of Fire AP there are the rules for advancing a weapon? I skimmed through it figuring it would be one of the articles in the back but I didn't find anything. Thanks!

Taldor

StabbittyDoom wrote:


If I'm remembering that book correctly... I hated it. What the heck's the point if the item in question is barely strong than a normal one, but requires a feat and penalizes another aspect of your character (hit points, spell slots, etc) while doing so.
If you removed the penalties and feat cost they could be fun as they added flavor abilities to an item, but the rules for constructing one were pretty restrictive. It was often a tricky thing to optimize (with respect to enhancement bonus and enhancement equivalent for armor/weapons) and a non-optimized item was much worse than an optimized one. It basically ended up relying on DM fiat to make it fun.*

*A personal rant, not meant to be indicative of actual product quality.

There was no feat cost, the feats that the items used were bonus feats you got if you performed the legacy rituals to unlock the weapons power.

As for the penalties, they didn't suck, they were just poorly implemented in the sample weapons they gave, and that was the problem with the book. The largest chapter of the book was the example weapons, and they SUCKED but the rules for creating legacy weapons and the feats you could take (that weren't free bonus feats) basically the rest of the g#$ d*$ned book was absolutely great, when building your legacy weapons for your game you could make sure that they actually were worth the penalties for taking them and grant them unique abilities rather than a standard +2 Flaming/Frost/bane that cost 5HP and a -2 to hit and -3 to skill checks.

The Book itself is 90% good material, the problem is that the 10% that sucked was actually the part that consumed the most page count and made a poor use of the other 90% of the new rules. What I did was get it on PDF and print it out leaving out chapter 2 except for one or two examle weapons to show how to format making your own, and I've got to say that doing it that way, I LOVE legacy weapons.

Taldor

Disciple of Sakura wrote:


I whipped up a legacy weapon for a character once that I was really looking forward to playing with, but didn't quite get there. It doesn't actually cost you feats - the Legacy feats are bonus feats you get when you unlock the legacy rituals. It just gives you the darn penalties, often on things that you really need (warriors with legacy weapons may be less accurate than warriors without legacy weapons, for example), which is sort of silly. Nevertheless, if you get to design your own weapon's legacy, you can get some really nifty stuff.

or +1

Andoran

Purple Duck Games has a line that might be just what you are looking for:

Legendary IV: Legendary Shields

Legendary III: Legendary Items

Legendary II: Legendary Weapons

Legendary I: Legendary Blades

Taldor

Marc Radle wrote:

Purple Duck Games has a line that might be just what you are looking for:

Legendary IV: Legendary Shields

Legendary III: Legendary Items

Legendary II: Legendary Weapons

Legendary I: Legendary Blades

the only complaint I have is that (if I'm reading the product description correctly) it doesn't give you the rules to create your own and an idea of what abilities would be overpowered at that level, just gives you a list of weapons. I'm not a big fan of that, while i like magic items, having rules to create ones is so much more useful than just a list of items.


Robert McCarthy 7 wrote:
Anybody know where in the Legacy of Fire AP there are the rules for advancing a weapon? I skimmed through it figuring it would be one of the articles in the back but I didn't find anything. Thanks!

Howl of the carrion king, pg.23 a weapon called tempest.


has anyone ever played Earthdawn?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Why not just use the Weapons of Legacy book? It is fully compatible with Pathfinder.


Ki_Ryn wrote:
Are there rules for legacy weapons (items that "power up" as the character advances) anywhere in Pathfinder?

There are various 3.5 splats (names elude me), and please don't kill me for saying this, but 4e core has some rules you could borrow and convert, too.

Andoran

Marc Radle wrote:

Purple Duck Games has a line that might be just what you are looking for:

Legendary IV: Legendary Shields

Legendary III: Legendary Items

Legendary II: Legendary Weapons

Legendary I: Legendary Blades

In the interest of being complete, Purple Duck now also has Legendary VI: Legendary Armor

@lastknightleft - it is true that these do not provide actual rules to create your own. However, they are much more than just a list of weapons (or shields, armor etc).

These products give complete details on how Legendary items work from a game standpoint. They also provide a full backstory for each Legendary Item presented as well as the powers and abilities gained as the character gains levels. If people are looking for Pathfinder compatible Legendary weapons, items, armor etc, I strongly suggest that you at least give these a look, read the reviews etc :)

Grand Lodge

I agree the Legacy Weapons were a great idea with not-so-great execution.

I came up with a very similar content years ago while running 2nd Edition D&D. This was before moonblades were presented, which are a similar, but different idea.

My initial motivation was that I don't like how PC's are constantly replacing equipment as they level. Although it makes sense from a mechanics point of view, it doesn't make as much sense realistically, and removes some of the immersion and suspension of disbelief, IMO.

I had a player playing an elf character in my game, and I wanted to give him a weapon that was a family heirloom. I wanted the sword to be very old; it had been handed down for generations, which in a family of elves could be a very long time. Considering that elven magical items tend to get more powerful over time (especially ones crafted back in the glory days), I wanted the item to be powerful, but I didn't want a 1st level character running around with a sword of sharpness or something like that. However, I had to come up with something so he wouldn't ditch it in favor of the shiny new sword in the hoard of his first dragon kill.

What I came up with was similar to a legacy weapon in many respects. I made a chart that showed what properties the weapon would have at each level of the character. There were no "costs" to the weapon at all. When a PC gets a magic item in a treasure hoard, he doesn't lose xp or hp or anything, so I don't see why this should be any different. The only way this could "unbalance" your campaign is if you make the item too powerful, or by having the PC accumulate too much gold because he's selling more magic items. You could easily fix that, though, by eliminating one magic item from treasure per level of the PC that is approximately equivalent in value to the abilities they gained in the legacy item that level.

As for how to scale the powers, I think a good place to start would be to look at your treasure tables. Look at what kinds of magic items a PC could reasonably find in a treasure of a monster they'd be able to defeat at that level. If you want their legacy item to be a little more powerful than that, which I think is cool for flavor, just scale the other items they get back a bit.

I think, considering a legendary sword, that some special abilities are especially appropriate. These are really great for character concepts that want to wear light or no armor, because you can add defensive abilities to the weapon. Concepts like fighter/mages, swashbucklers, fighter/rogues, bladesingers, etc. Some of the abilities I really like are holy (or blessed-like the paladin spell Blessed Weapon), keen, defending. Giving deflection bonuses to AC and ability bonuses are nice too.

Another way you can go is to eventually make the item intelligent (at an appropriate level, as this will increase the power of the item quite a bit). This can give the item the ability to cast healing spells, detect possible threats, etc.

These items are really great if you're running a solo adventure for a fighter type because you can give them some healing and defensive abilities they'd otherwise not have access to.

Really, though, the best thing about these items is that it encourages the character to keep the item throughout her career. In our own history and mythology, many heroes were known for their weapons, etc. Eg King Arthur's Excalibur. Think how different the story would be if Arthur would've had a different sword every year. I love creating magic items, and I never just give out a generic +1 whatever (or if I do, I dress it up with a really good description). So I really like being able to come up with cool items with history, knowing that the players will keep those items and won't be replacing them a few sessions later.

Also, when you consider the cost of creating magic items, and the cost of just creating mundane weapons in a fantasy world, it makes a lot more sense to have a single item that grows in power.

I do like the idea of doing rituals to "unlock" certain levels of power, but I don't think this is appropriate or necessary for every such item.

Wow, sorry this got so long! If you read the whole thing, you should get some xp, or maybe a +1 to your favorite magic item. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The way I implemented it was a modification of the "Ancestral Relic" feat from Book of Exalted Deeds. This feat is available in my home game.

Ancestral Relic [Item Creation]

You have inherited an ancient item of power whose powers grow with your own.

Prerequisite: must be taken at first character level

Benefit: You start play with a masterwork weapon, armor, or other item (subject to GM approval) for free. At any time, you may perform a special ritual that can add permanent magical properties to that specific item. Treat this as the normal item creation rules, substituting this feat for the appropriate Item Creation feat. If the property you wish to add requires a spell, you do not need to provide the spell, but you must provide any special material component. Use your total character level in place of caster level for any level requirements.

The time and monetary costs to perform the ritual are identical to the normal item creation cost.

If the item is lost or destroyed, the character loses the benefits of this feat. However, such items are difficult to truly destroy, and the GM should provide a means in-game to replace or recover a lost or destroyed ancestral relic.

No character may have more than one ancestral relic.

Shadow Lodge

I suppose it really depends upon how strict your GM is in sticking to the wealth by level.

I had the idea that my current characters greatsword could add properties by sacrificing loot on his deities shrine. How much for what is the problem.

If you have a strict GM they may decide that you would need to pay the full cost or more to maintain the weapon as you are not having to wait for it to be crafted.

At the other end of the scale your GM might allow the half cost for that specific weapon to be upgraded, as if you had a crafter in your group.

Thus for a weapon you would decide when you had aquired enough for it to move up to the next stage.

Sacrifice 300gp, weapon is masterwork
Sacrifice 2000gp the weapon is +1 (1000gp with a generous GM)

etc...

Its a bit less spontaneous that it simply improving the weapon, but it helps maintain the weath balance in your game.


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One thing to consider is that some players like getting new loot and prefer it to upgrading their old items. It takes a certain kind of player to prefer legacy weapons, and it probably would help if the weapon was somehow intelligent.

Give then choice of new car, or upgrading old car, some humans would pick new car, unless the old one talked to them and was their friend.


Another 3pp has just thrown in their version: Super Genius has done Relics of the Godlings, which offers 8 example items, rules for creating your own, and multiple different methods for how a GM can add them to a campaign.

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8saa?The-Genius-Guide-to-Relics-of-the-Godlin gs


Book 1 of The Drow War campaign by Mongoose also had some rules in the appendix for making legacy items:

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/2347/The-Drow-War%3A-Book-1---The-Gat hering-Storm?it=1

The rules didn't seem to bad when we played through the entire campaign, might be another source to check out.


Purple Duck Games has "Legendary Blades" which seems to do a halfway decent job of it; the weapon improves every other level, not every level though. http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=3367&products_i d=83866&filters=0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=3367&affiliate_id=3108 99

If it was available via Paizo, I'd link that. of course.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Bladebound Magus?

By the way, 2 year old thread here.

Grand Lodge

Disciple of Sakura wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Honestly, the legacy weapons were how magic weapons and armor SHOULD be handled in 3.5, minus the retarded costs. If you are required to have a certain bonus to attacks at a certain level, you should just get it at that level.
I'm trying something like that out right now in my Kingmaker campaign...

I know I'm necrokicking this thread, I think I'm going to take advantage of this for my running the CC campaign. It makes things so much easier.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

james mcarthur 67 wrote:
Robert McCarthy 7 wrote:
Anybody know where in the Legacy of Fire AP there are the rules for advancing a weapon? I skimmed through it figuring it would be one of the articles in the back but I didn't find anything. Thanks!

Howl of the carrion king, pg.23 a weapon called tempest.

That AP was written for 3.5, so it doesn't completely answer the question for Pathfinder.

I didn't Necro the thread!

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