I'm adding a new magic item to a game. Advice on mechanics would be nice

Homebrew and House Rules

Alright so I'm adding a new magic item to a very relaxed style campaign. It's a pick up game where we all take turns dming one shots. Mainly we play this one when someone can't make it to the regular real game. Anyways, here is the description of the item in question:

Item name: Dog of Holding

Description: The Dog of Holding has the same shape and size of a small bag of holding. Although, it runs around on four points, and barks like a dog. It will pant in excitement with its opening as if it were its mouth. It also has a small tongue that droops out of its opening when panting.

The Dog of Holding is very friendly and will run to the nearest high HD character class he sees in adoration. For example, if he sees a wizard and a fighter next to each other, he would run to the fighter and make friends with him as a dog would. If he sees a barbarian and a fighter he would run to the barbarian. If there is a tie on who rolls the highest hit dice, the dm decides whom the dog would run to. Once it has found a companion, the dog will follow him or her wherever they go unless the companion is overly rude or cruel.

Rules of use: The Dog of Holding is a cursed magic item that will vommit up anything that the players put into it. He cannot store any items. However, the Dog of Holding holds an infinite number of weapons already inside him.

A character may pull out a weapon from the Dog as a swift action. Before drawing, the character may choose whether this weapon is a ranged or melee weapon. However other than this, the weapon selected is random. The character is always considered to be proficient in this weapon even if he or she doesn't have the required feat or class to use it. In addition, the weapon is always of masterwork quality. In the case of drawing a weapon that needs reloading, such as a crossbow or a gun, the character is considered to have the rapid reload feat only with this weapon. Lastly, for weapons that use ammunition, you are considered to have unlimited normal ammo. Though this isn't the case for thrown weapons such as a javelin.

If the weapon is drawn and the character does not use it to attack something, it will disappear into non existence after one round passes. However if in a fight, the character will be able to wield it until combat is over as per the gm ruling. When the dm confirms that the combat ends, the weapon disappears into non existence after one round.

You may only have one weapon taken from the Dog at a time per character. For anyone but the companion of the Dog, drawing a weapon from it is a move action instead of a swift action. (Anyone who is not an ally of the companion must roll a dc 20 cmb or 20 sleight of hand check to steal a weapon from the Dog. The Dog cannot fight back in any way during this, or otherwise attack at any time.) If you lose your weapon via a disarm, sunder, or throwing it somewhere or otherwise, you may draw a new one from the Dog after one more round has passed and the lost weapon disappears.

Determining the random weapon drawn: First, the character declares whether he wants a ranged or melee weapon. If a melee weapon is chosen, roll a d2. If 1 is rolled, the weapon will be from the main weapons list. If a two is rolled, the weapon will be selected from the eastern weapons list. Next, roll a d3. If a 1 is rolled, the it will be a Simple weapon, if it's a 2, a Martial weapon and An Exotic weapon if a 3 is rolled. Lastly, roll percentiles and approximate where on the list that percentage is and select that one. For example, if a 25 is rolled you approximate what weapons are 25% or 1/4th down the list and you select one of those for the character to wield.

So, if a 1 is rolled on the d2 and a 1 on the d3, then a 25 on the percentiles, a good choice for the dm is to give the player a Cestus, Brass Knuckles or Dagger because at a first glance they are about 1/4th down the simple weapons list. (At least to me.) For using ranged weapons, the rules are mainly the same however you roll a d2 first to determine whether it is a medieval weapon or a gun of some sort. If it is a gun, a d3 does not have to be rolled.

End of rules description.

Alright so that's the item. Any advice on how to reword this or change the rules? Cause I will submit it soon to a document for them to see today. And if you guys in the group are reading this, hi!

I would restrict the weapons to non-firearms, or at least non-technological...unless the game is set in a suitable setting?

On the other hand, if you think it would be funnier, make it so you can get siege weapons out of it...in a previous campaign, we had a portable hole containing a loaded cannon, which was fun to deploy. It's final use was when the PC carrying it was swallowed by a T.Rex.

The character (a pistoleer) announced that he was turning the hole inside out, dumping the entire contents into the dino's gut and triggering the cannon.

3 barrels of black powder were also inside the hole...and that character's store of very expensive wine, looted from an evil high priest.

A big explosion resulted, along with a dead T.Rex and a PC who needed a lot of healing - I forget whether he died or not.

Haha that's awesome! Yeah I hadn't thought of siege weapons, that's not a bad idea thanks!

This item would truly me an adventuring man's best friend.

The "rolls the highest HD" rule is weird and unwieldy. Just go by highest BAB, highest STR, highest BAB+attack stat or fiat "this guy looks martial to my doggy mind".

I think this is a cool concept, so just because I'm only mentioning the things I think need improvement don't take that as a negative.

I don't like the name. Something like Armory Hound would work better in my opinion.

The HD mechanic is weird. I'd certainly change it to something that could more easily be perceived. Even just listing classes and the order he would choose them in seems better (and I would think fighter should go before barbarian for something like this anyway).

You describe it as cursed, but there doesn't seem to really be any negatives. Penalties to stealth seems appropriate. If though you want people to keep this around, maybe just not have it be cursed.

I'm not in love with the bonus proficiency and rapid reload feats. The dog goes to martial characters anyway, so it would seem to be 'looking' for proficiency, but if he grants that it seems unnecessary. Also it takes from the random factor, and I think the occasional 'How the heck do I use this' seems like it would be fun. Similarly for Rapid Reload, plus it seems like if you get a javelin you are stuck for the round with only one ranged attack, but your light crossbow now can full attack...seems weird. I'd probably have it go to a single quiver etc. of ammo rather than unlimited too.

I would probably come up with a table that would work on a single percentage roll for each type (melee and ranged) and print that out rather than the 3 roll method you mention.

Casual Viking wrote:
The "rolls the highest HD" rule is weird and unwieldy. Just go by highest BAB, highest STR, highest BAB+attack stat or fiat "this guy looks martial to my doggy mind".

I'd lean towards this. For one, you get fun with multiclassing -- would the dog favour a d8 rogue or someone who just dipped barbarian?

I don't remember if the random magic weapon tables can give random weapons, although I do vaguely remember them being a little weighted towards more 'common' weapons -- more likely to get a longsword than a kusarigama, for one.

I also might suggest making the guns a little less common than 50% on this. Mainly because sometimes you just want to use a bow.

I think that most of the points above will simplify this idea. Keep it simple because this just has hilarious situations all over it. "We come in peace" Armory Hound (I prefer this name as well) vomits out a cannon right next to your character and the previously unalarmed tribesmen scream in fury then attack!

Swiss Army Dog?
Weiner Blade?
Sharp Sharpei?
Dangerous Doberman?
GO NUTS! This items isn't OP at all and just has loads (no pun intended) of fun waiting to happen.

Wait... Another idea... What if when it doesn't like you and you reach for a weapon it squats like it is dropping a deuce and poops out a weapon?

Well, now I need to stat out an actual dog of holding that is a combination of unseen servant and bag of holding. Treasure that carries itself.

TPK wrote:
Wait... Another idea... What if when it doesn't like you and you reach for a weapon it squats like it is dropping a deuce and poops out a weapon?

Said weapon is of course wrong-sized, you're not proficient in it, it's cursed, you're compelled to use it, it's the wrong type (ranged if you're in melee, and not one that can switch-hit) ... and it looks like, smells like, and feels like what normally comes out from there.

My idea of it being cursed was that it's a bag of holding that can't actually hold anything you put in it. Plus you can't choose what weapon you get from it, you might end up with a bad weapon and you'll be like "oh come on!" I guess it would be better if I made it a construct I guess.

I guess having more limited ammo works. Maybe something like ten shots works. But for thrown weapons my idea was for them to quickly throw the weapon and then grab another random one for kicks. I thought rapid reload would be nice because some weapons suck without it. But I guess sometimes you'll get a crap weapon anyways. So I suppose that can be dropped too.

Armory Dog sounds awesome, I'll take it. Thanks for the help guys!

I would be very careful (as others have said) about the item granting feats, abuse potential is very high.

Love the theme though, it is useful and funny, good combo. I would name mine Bernard, Saint of Battle :)

A dog and a bag of holding got caught in a baleful teleport. :)
But yes to cursed. Someone failed to craft some bag of holding. These things are made by casters for their many non weapon items, so this is nice blowback.

Just have it provide a weapon they can use. Missile weapons are preloaded. Most fighters just fire their missile weapon, drop it, grab a melee weapon, and charge. If someone is trying to snipe the party have baggy beagle give them a Flying Falchion. He will instinctively know what weapon type and material his master needs for a foe.

This weapon has a mithril alloy blade and wigs of flying for the guard. It lets you charge up into the air at a foe.

A hand cannon the size of half a bazooka is also fun. "With a cannon in hand, he can beat any man, or so says the brag of Mc Brag!"

He will gobble up weapons left lying on the floor, or dropped by dying enemies. He does not consider wands or staves weapons.

I like the theme, but that amount of looking up weapons + die rolling seems like it ruins the punchline.

My recommendation? The Dog of Many Things!

Get a deck of playing cards, assign different melee weapons to each of the cards suits. Ranged weapons are assigned in conjunction, with some repeats as needed. Ranged weapons come with one 'set' of ammunition for that weapon.

Clubs + Hearts:

A - Heavy Steel Shield/ Throwing Shield
2 - Sap/ Club
3 - Mere Club/ Sling
4 - Gnome Hooked Hammer/ Light Hammer
5 - Dan Bong/ Lasso
6 - Nine-Section Whip/ Net
7 - Warhammer/ Poisoned Sand Tube
8 - Earthbreaker/ Boomerang
9 - Heavy Flail/ Vial of Alchemist Fire
0 - Sai/ Thunderstone
J - Dire Flail/ Vial of Acid
Q - Meteor Hammer/ Throwing Shield
K - Bec De Corbin/ Wahaika

Repeat with Slashing and Piercing Weapons with Diamonds and Spades

Hearts: Apply if applicable.
A Weapon is for a creature one size bigger.
2 Weapon is for a creature one size smaller.
3 Weapon is made of Cold Iron.
4 Weapon is made of Alchemical Silver.
5 Weapon is made of Bronze, and insults anyone it strikes.
6 Weapon is made of Bone, and whispers threats at the wielder.
7 Weapon is Masterwork and functions as a Holy Symbol.
8 Weapon shoots out and attacks nearby enemy as if the player had thrown it.
9 Weapon is of the first color that is called out at the table.
0 Weapon is accompanied by 3d6 of it's kind, which fall onto the floor.
J Weapon is the weapon a nearby enemy was holding just a second ago.
Q Weapon sheds light, has plus +5 enhancement, and disappears forever 1d4 rounds later.
K Weapon is a favorite of the dog, who begs and whines (loudly) at the player's feet until the weapon is returned.

Joker: Siege Engine or Advanced Firearm
Joker: Squeaky Toy/ Small Toy Ball (coated in drool)

Also, you'll probably want to give it statistics, perhaps that of a small animated object.

Instead of hit dice and arbitrary decisions between barbarians and wizards, you could go by the highest modifier in Handle Animal or Wild Empathy. And in what way is this cursed? Perhaps the dog instinctively swallows edibles whole as a standard action, or as a full--round action if it's too big to swallow whole.

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Idea for the Curse...

1) Each day that the Armoury Dog (I too like this name) is with the character, he must "feed" it a weapon.

2) When in combat, the Armoury Dog takes up the flanking position, but dose not provide the bonus.

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