Concerns over Suishen's power. (spoilers)


Jade Regent


My group has just gotten Suishen, they were lucky enough to keep Helgarvel around to fetch it, and they gave it to the two weapon fighter. Needless to say, they destroyed the rest of the Ravenscraeg. The party is an all fighter party, so as a group they do tremendous damage to begin with, but I was expecting Kimandatsu to give them a decent challenge. Instead, Suishen did what it was built to do, and carried them through the whole fight without any of them ever taking damage. I thought Kimandatsu had earned herself a break when she managed to charm monster the two weapon fighter, but the player suggested that Suishen just use its ego to dominate its wielder to force him to continue to fight. It did just that and Kimandatsu could do nothing to stop its onslaught.

My big concern with Suishen is that it will make all the rest of the fights too easy, even for a group as poorly balanced as mine. It has eliminated almost all weaknesses the two weapon fighter has. Because its caster level is 20, all of its buffs are effectively infinite, and even if I use charm or fear effects, Suishen can just use its ego to dominate the player (he needs to roll a natural 20 to prevent it), which practically gives him immunity to such effects.

To me it seems like a mistake to give the characters a minor artifact in part 2. Has anyone else had problems with Suishen, or any other thoughts about it?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

It's a weapon in the hands of a TWF. He still needs to make a full attack to be effective. He has to be able to reach his opponent.

Any opponent shooting and flying at range is basically invulnerable to Suishen. The buffs are a nice convenience, but you played the domination wrong. What happens when someone is dominated by two folks is that the casters make opposed Charisma checks, and the higher one gets control for that round.

So, he's not immune to being dominated, more likely he's going to be acting like he's confused. Monsters will generally have higher Cha checks then the sword, too.

And it means he doesn't have to buy a ring of warmth for part3, yay!

===Aelryinth


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You could have Ameiko claim her families heirloom weapon. Suishen could also refuse to "function" for the PCs, for the true Amatatsu heir is still alive.

The Exchange

Druu Ogre wrote:
My big concern with Suishen is that it will make all the rest of the fights too easy, even for a group as poorly balanced as mine. It has eliminated almost all weaknesses the two weapon fighter has. Because its caster level is 20, all of its buffs are effectively infinite, and even if I use charm or fear effects, Suishen can just use its ego to dominate the player (he needs to roll a natural 20 to prevent it), which practically gives him immunity to such effects.

Well, you're playing it wrong, as noted, but even if you weren't, is this really that much worse than spamming protection from evil and remove fear? (Presumably through potions, for this party?) That's SOP for every game I've ever been in. Being at the receiving end of dominate spam is so little fun that it's actually good for there to be easy counters.

Suishen's resist energy power is not a big deal, it just saves the party a small amount of money. The protection from energy upgrade is pretty overpowered, though. I recommend making it continue to operate 3/day instead of at-will. The other powers seem fine to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Point is, Suishen never can get better. It actually isn't all that hot a weapon at the higher levels. But it will be helpful for your party, that is surely true.

Since you have a TWF, he probably has a sucky AC, so that will help with challenging him.

My groups party has nobody who can really make use of Suishen, so it is rather the other way around. That's what happens when you play with roleplaying veterans, the partys begin to look rather eclectic and people don't have a good mix of basic abilities. ^^


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I thought Kimandatsu had earned herself a break when she managed to charm monster the two weapon fighter, but the player suggested that Suishen just use its ego to dominate its wielder to force him to continue to fight. It did just that and Kimandatsu could do nothing to stop its onslaught.

When I read this I stopped, covered my mouth and gasped "THAT IS AMAZING."

Because THAT IS AMAZING.

No but seriously it's a +2 defending flaming weapon that can cast niche buffs. It's not even great niche buffs-- just ones that are specifically tailored to be useful for the AP.

The magical superweapon is supposed to be really good.

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and carried them through the whole fight without any of them ever taking damage.

... How? It can only cast resist energy on itself and its wielder in combat. It has a reach of 0 feet. It's the same for air walk. He can only technically cast see invisibility on himself, but for argument's sake, he can only cast it on his wielder. Air walk, see invis and resist energy can only be cast 3/day each, so I don't know how he put it on everyone-- or how the party knew they were going to be taking a ton of cold damage. Or how the party even knew what spells Suishen could cast.

I agree that his buffs last FOREVER.

On that note... Suishen could just save his buffs and cast them when he wants to instead of when his wielder orders him to. That's part of the power tradeoff for an intelligent item-- more power equates to more stubbornness.


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and carried them through the whole fight without any of them ever taking damage.
Quote:
... How? It can only cast resist energy on itself and its wielder in combat. It has a reach of 0 feet. It's the same for air walk. He can only technically cast see invisibility on himself, but for argument's sake, he can only cast it on his wielder. Air walk, see invis and resist energy can only be cast 3/day each, so I don't know how he put it on everyone-- or how the party knew they were going to be taking a ton of cold damage. Or how the party even knew what spells Suishen could cast.

In this case it was that the TWF did so much damage a turn(half her hp after one full attack) that Kimandatsu had to keep away from him, but Suishen just hosed any of her attempts to keep him at bay so she never really got a chance to attack.

BUT, you guys have given some pretty good advice and I'm thinking I may be overreacting to Suishen. I'll definitely throw the sword's ego around more and make the fighter earn its buffs.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

In addition, Kimandatsu is built with ranged capacity an option. Sure, your fighter can resist the cone of cold, but giant flaming arrows fired from thirty feet in the air are still going to prove to be a problem.

Liberty's Edge

I was just about to start a thread asking if others thought Suishen was too powerful. Looks like people already got started.

I have noticed a few issues with Suishen's powers, especially in my own campaign.

The +2 defending flaming katana bit doesn't bother me much. It's a (semi-)Exotic Weapon, and the only Katana wielder in my party is a blackblade magus (and we'd hate for her sword to get jealous). The See Invisibility is neat, but the big two that threaten to disrupt the campaign:

At will - Protection from Cold
At will, 10 minutes/level, lasts over 3 hours. How is it going to affect the threat of cold weather over the Crown of the World? Will the wielder of Suishen be able to buff everyone so that the temperature is a non-issue for the caravan?

3/day - Air Walk
This is one particular to my party - we've got a charging cavalier/fighter, and letting them charge into the air will turn them into a big horse bullet (she's already taken into account the need to train the mount a trick for air walking). Really between their horse's astounding jump check and those horseshoes of a zephyr, there's not much stopping her.

The Exchange

I'm still trying to grok a full Fighter party.


In my game, I decided to downgrade the Protection from Cold from at will to thrice daily. Half the critters in The Hungry Storm depend on cold-based attacks; rendering them completely ineffective without even really requiring forethought or effort seemed odd.

Nothing else seemed broken to me. Air Walk is powerful, but to be honest my party has needed it.

Liberty's Edge

What I've come up with is to roleplay the sword as extremely conservative, careful, an distant. Here's some notes I was scribbling down last night at work:

"Suishen is uncompromising. His first and foremost mission is to protect the Amatatsu bloodline at all cost (in my campaign as one of the PCs is Ameiko's sister). His second mission is to protect the Amatatsu Seal and the scions. He would have not quarrel with the party retiring, marrying into noble blood, raising an army over a few generations, and having their children's children wield him into battle against the Five Storms.

In his mind, the bloodline is at its most delicate, and even leaving the Caravan to adventure is far too dangerous (meaning that at least one of the sisters must stay with the caravan, and he'll stay with that sister). Traveling away from the safety of the caravan is a job for servitors and hirelings, not royalty.

Despite this, Suishen is big on letting others fight their own battles without the help of his magic. If a scion cannot hold his own against the dangers of the world, how could they ever hope to hold their own against the Five Storms, or even the varied dangers of royal court? Getting him to use his powers requires a Diplomacy check (DC 25), and can only be attempted once per session.

The blade does not try to impede the heroes, but is overbearing in what it believes is right. He freely gives his knowledge to the interested (and the uninterested as well), and his attitudes will change as the party grows in strength. "

Dark Archive

I would also keep most of the swords powers a secret only revealing them as the sword decides to use them.


My pc's used the air walk to negate both the monks in the dojo (they were in the rafters) and Goti's attempt to slow them down via create pit.

Suishen is being used by the party magus who was already doing gobs of damage. This is only making it worse. Of course the character is the sister of Ameiko and was using a katana prior to finding Suishen so its not easy to just say you cant have the sword. I may try the, it will only function for Ameiko moving fwd though...

The party is supposed to be 6th before venturing down to the lower level of Ravencraeg but I left them at 5th and they are still mowing through everything. I think Suishen is just going to make things easier.

We let off just before Kimandatsu's sanctum, but I know the airwalk is going to make that encounter waay too easy as Kimandatsu will not be able to get away from them.


Hi! I'm currently PLAYING JR, with a TWF proficient with both Katana and Wakizashi. Before we found Suishen, the proliferation of Wakizashi had me specializing with Wakizashi. I'm sticking with that, actually.

I'm an old, experienced, STORY-BASED player, so for me there hasn't been any kind of question at all. When we see Oni, Suishen demands that I use her, and I do INSTEAD OF being dominated to use her. When I see a need for one of Suishen's abilities, I ask nicely. Heck, when we approached the cave opening for that first scripted battle on the open ice, I BEGGED Suishen for help, and the response was "Only if you use me."

My build is a finesse build, with Greater Weapon Focus in Wakizashi. I lose something like 4 or 5 points attack bonus on my primary attacks when I wield Suishen instead of a wakizashi.

Push the story forward, recognize that Suishen is an artifact, not "just another weapon", and enjoy the ride. Have FUN. Don't get caught by the mechanics, control them.

Suishen doesn't dominate the player unles the judge WANTS Suishen to dominate the player. After all, Suishen is an NPC personality.


Cy1971 wrote:

My pc's used the air walk to negate both the monks in the dojo (they were in the rafters) and Goti's attempt to slow them down via create pit.

Suishen is being used by the party magus who was already doing gobs of damage. This is only making it worse. Of course the character is the sister of Ameiko and was using a katana prior to finding Suishen so its not easy to just say you cant have the sword. I may try the, it will only function for Ameiko moving fwd though...

The party is supposed to be 6th before venturing down to the lower level of Ravencraeg but I left them at 5th and they are still mowing through everything. I think Suishen is just going to make things easier.

We let off just before Kimandatsu's sanctum, but I know the airwalk is going to make that encounter waay too easy as Kimandatsu will not be able to get away from them.

As a matter of fact, Suishen will not only make the encounter easier for them, but also it will be able to warn the PCs of Kimandatsu's sanctum setting --it's been there when Kimandatsu stole it-- and of her abilities, since she knows a lot about oni.

The encounter should be ridiculously easy for the PCs if they find Suishen, but then, IMHO, that's how it should be. Not every encounter has to be life-or-death, and in this case the fact that you've finally located the sword should play in the PCs benefit. Let them go against the boss fully prepared for her for once, and they'll get a sense of accomplishment: 'We really nailed the b!+!%, yay!!'

My group went through that battle like a hot knife through butter, but they have had a hard time with several battles in the next module, Suishen or not. The lonely maiden nearly killed two of them, as did a Frostfallen Mammoth, and a Giant Pike actually killed one. Then, they fought the dragon and after several rounds of hide and seek and three breath weapons, they killed her with a simple Phantasmal Killer (3 and 5 on the die rolls). Suishen did nothing decisive in those three encounters.

The sword is an artifact, yes, and some of its powers can unbalance the game --the ranger in my group who carries it can air walk most of the day, for example--, but at the end of the day, they still find the adventure challenging.


I jsut read through the abilities of Suishen and don't think it's overpowered, except for maybe the Protection from Energy at will that people have mentioned.
I'll change that to 3/day

Can Suishen cast it on anyone or just the wielder?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anyone. And it's intended as a feature by the designers that it has unlimited uses per day. We asked a few weeks ago.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My group is currently in book 5 and the cumulative effect of the samurai wielding shuishen all the time has been negligible overall. While it provides a huge advantage in some scenarios such as against Kimandatus and other oni like her. It is of very little use in other situations (a particularly nasty example is the witch fire encounter early in book 3 that one was a hairs breadth from being a TPK) in book 4 it isn't going to be much help in alot of the conflict due to the fact if played correctly alot of the adversaries try not to get into close combat and there isn't much that it can do against things like baleful polymorph (zap your warrior is now a rat kinda hard to wield a sword with no hands) or a gorgons stone gaze. So powerful yes, game breaking not really. (well at least in my untutored opinion).

Sczarni

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When I played through my gm completely reworked Suishen to still be powerful without being too much, here was his version.

+2 flaming defending Katana

endure Elements (only on the wielder), Air walk 3/day, daylight, Resist energy (cold), see Invisibility (only on the wielder)

in order of killed five storms oni Suishen gained the following abilities.

1st - Flaming Burst
2nd - Bane against the Oni Type
3rd - Keen
4th - True Sight 1/day

I felt this was much more correctly set up for the game, as you don't get Keen till basically the end of the 4th book and the oni bane helped greatly for the few oni we faced through book 4 and what little of book 3 we had it in, True sight helped mostly in the 6th book when dealing with the final oni and his disguises, I felt a high posabilty of death with this build while still being powerful I had died near the end of book three and made a ijutsu strike samurai, even with all that power I died twice in the 4th book, and was the only one still standing against the oni in book 4, I hope this build helps others as they run this fantastic adventure path.

Oh also on the domination topic I believe the way my gm played Suishen when I was dominated was more correct, when I asked why Suishen didn't just take me over, he said Suishen was a proud warrior and didn't care if a lowly warrior like my character was dominated, allowing myself to become dominated made me weak in Suishen's opinion and as long as I didn't attack Amiko he wouldn't care.


I think it's great that an item kept its worth over the whole AP instead of ending in the for sale bin

It never felt OP, and someone did need to use a feat to wield it effectively


thenovalord wrote:
It never felt OP, and someone did need to use a feat to wield it effectively

I'm at the opposite spectrum, against onis it was ridiculously powerful. But as I said in another thread, artifacts have a tendency to be like that.

In another adventure path it wouldn't feel as powerful, but using it in Jade Regent against onis is where its powers gets maximum efficiency:

- Onis regenerate : Suishen's flaming ability will negate that.
- Onis fly : Suishen's Air Walk (at lvl 20 caster level) will get you in reach.
- Onis turn invisible : Suishen's Invisibility Purge will make them appear for everyone, and it's long lasting and AT WILL!
- Onis are... onis : Oni Bane! That's just icing on the pile of hurt you're already giving them.

Being a katana with a 18-20 critical threat range, learning Improved Critical is a natural choice. A lot of the onis had relatively low ACs, so the flaming burst additional damage was a common sight.

In the hands of a mildly competent warrior (katana proficiency, improved critical, power attack), Suishen was devastating.

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