Custom Magic Item: Touch of Mercy effect: How much would YOU price it at?


Advice


First and foremost:

I'm the GM.

In the next session or two, the party (Level 3) will be attending a wedding, and the groom (an Aldori trained bard) has splashing out "serious" cash, to "rent" a pair of Scabbards of the Merciful Duelist, that will cause any weapon placed in them, to only do Nonlethal damage for X rounds, for some exhibition style duels as part of the celebrations.

The question, is that I'm going to guess that the party will want to own their own down the line, and I'd like to be prepared.

How much would YOU make it cost?

Things I've looked at that are relevant:

The spell effect in question, L2

a similar (+1) weapon enchantment effect

A permanent magic item, 3/day 3rd level spell

A similar effect, permanent magic item, 1/day, 3rd level spell

a permanent magic item, no daily limits. Altered 3rd level spell effect

My thoughts, is that it's less potent than temporarily granting the merciful ability, (no +1d6), Less potent than the varied 3rd level spell effects, and that I don't REALLY want to have too low of a caster level or uses per day, if I'm going to have a mini-tourney effect.

While I was brainstorming, I feature-creeped up of some other things, like: When sheathed, it casts a targeted dispel magic on the user, and glows a color (white?), if it successfully cleanses all temporary buffs. Buffing AFTER you're entering the lists might be useful depending on the duelist, but no pre-gaming. That seems like a good effect for a 'greater' version.

Spitballing the price, I don't want it to be much cheaper than 5k, and 16k seems like too much for a basic version especially when compared to the above, but possibly OK for a greater.

In case anyone is curious, the party is playing through Kingmaker, and one of the players is hoping to open an Aldori school in kingdom.


I did some thinking on your problem. I would allow you to make magic items that bestow the qualities of a +1 Merciful magic weapon on any weapon. I'm pricing it at 12,000 gp, 50% more than a +2 weapon, because its a magic item using an uncustomary space limitation (its an old DND 3.0 rule). It would only work on one magic item at a time.

Edit: Thinking about it more, I'm now second guessing myself. I might come back later with something else.


Einar Colby wrote:
Spitballing the price, I don't want it to be much cheaper than 5k

Then why not just make it activated by the wearer and call it 5k? Making it activated by the wearer rules out any wacky shenanigans, and the item itself doesn't help the PCs break anything - it just offers them some prestige and the chance to duel safely. It isn't adding to their combat power, so it doesn't need to be priced like a weapon enhancement.

Personally I'd call it like, 1k or something, though that would depend on the levels the PCs are at and their wealth. I'd want it high enough that owning the item is a luxury and an act of conspicuous consumption, but low enough that the PCs can at some point aspire to do so without penalising their effectiveness.


I appreciate having a couple extra eyes on the issue, as I'd like to be ... reasonable.

As for the party, it's a group of 5 L3's (Currently). As to wealth, there's a potential for a great deal by and by. We're running the Kingmaker AP, and while I intend to use the UC rules to mitigate things, there have been more than a few games that had runaway cash-flow issues.

CURRENTLY, I don't have anyone making use of any mechanical things reliant on non-lethal effects, there's nothing to say that if I lowball this too much, that one won't show up as a replacement if someone gets assassinated, or killed in battle.

On the flip side, I don't want to price this exorbitantly, as you suggested, I don't want to penalize the party for buying a pair down the line, either for their personal use, or as part of a kingdom upgrade.

And, well, there's a chance someone else will like the idea so much they want one for their own game. Mostly I want to have this be at least somewhat thought out, to avoid a potential pit-trap.

I've got a couple days before I introduce the party to the idea, and then who knows how long before they go "Remember those Scabbards of the Merciful Duelist you introduced way back when? We want to buy/craft/acquire a set."


I thought it out some more. 12,000 gp for single glove that bestows the powers of +1 merciful weapon. I forgot to mention the glove part. If it was slotless, it would have to be worth 100% more, not 50% more.

If you wish to make a scabbard that bestows merciful weapon several times a day, then I would model it after the keen version. You probably want to make a merciful version of the keen edge spell. I don't see anything wrong with taking the keen edge spell, crossing out the keen edge bits, and putting merciful weapon in its place. Its replacing a +1 weapon effect with another. Its lazy, but sometimes lazy works.


Oh, right. You want the spell "touch of mercy" for scabbards. My mind must be out to lunch...

2 (spell level) * 3 (caster level) * 1800 gp (command word) * 2 (slotless) / 5 (charges per day) = 4320 gp per charge. Remember, if you want 5 or more charges, you might as well do away with the charged aspect. 5 charges cost the same as unlimited charges.

The problem with this magic item is that, touch of mercy, last rounds. You might want to go with the merciful weapon spell because its duration would be measured in 10 min/level.


You're getting ahead of yourself: Touch of Mercy is an enchantment, not a transmutation. All it does is force the target to make only non-lethal attacks (taking the penalty if they don't have an ability to negate it), not duplicate a merciful weapon.

Grand Lodge

Personally, I would price it at 7500. It is most similar to the scabbard of vigor except charges per day, and flexibility.

multiple x5 for unlimited charges per day. Reduced from 1800 to 1500 to account for its limited application.

It is not nearly as powerful as powerful as the merciful weapon enchantment as it doesn't add extra damage, only changes damage type.


My suggested entry:

Scabbards of the Merciful Duelist wrote:

Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th; Slot —; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

DESCRIPTION
This scabbard can shrink or enlarge to accommodate any knife, dagger, sword, or similar weapon up to and including a greatsword. Up to three times per day on command, the scabbard causes on any blade placed within it to cause nonlethal damage for 10 minutes. Any time the blade damages someone, you gain 1d6 non-stacking temp hit points that last 1 minute.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Craft Wondrous Item, cure light wounds; Cost 8,000 gp

This way, when used against another blade with this effect will cause the damage you take go against the temp hit points you gain. The end result is a long fight that does little damage.

/cevah


Lot of good math on here.

I'm a strong proponent of giving players more than a strict reading of the rules would suggest. I waive all kinds of extra costs and reduce prices like nobody's business, but there's always a reason behind it.

This item does...basically nothing. What's the benefit of having it? A +2 to Diplomacy in certain situations? That's about as crunchy an advantage as it offers.
I'd say 2,500gp for an item that turns all of a weapon's damage to nonlethal for an hour would be technically fair...but then I'd drop the cost by...2/3. 800gp seems fine. Show me a character that would want to spend 800gp on this over something else. Let's not punish players for wanting their characters to be interesting and less than 100% streamlined.


Quixote wrote:

Lot of good math on here.

I'm a strong proponent of giving players more than a strict reading of the rules would suggest. I waive all kinds of extra costs and reduce prices like nobody's business, but there's always a reason behind it.

This item does...basically nothing. What's the benefit of having it? A +2 to Diplomacy in certain situations? That's about as crunchy an advantage as it offers.

The problem is, the spell it replicates is mostly meant to be cast on an opponent. There's virtually no reason you'd cast it on an ally; if your friend wants to do nonlethal damage, they can just...do it themselves.
How much would you pay for a necklace of fireballs that only detonates in your square?

I'd say 2,500gp for an item that turns all of a weapon's damage to nonlethal for an hour would be technically fair...but then I'd drop the cost by...2/3. 800gp seems fine. Show me a character that would want to spend 800gp on this over something else. Let's not punish players for wanting their characters to be interesting and less than 100% streamlined.


Thank you all for your advice! I do greatly appreciate it!

For anyone curious, I had an opportunity to present these to the party at a fancy wedding. More than one person in the party expressed immediate interest in acquiring a set down the line for their kingdom, potentially shelling out for either the intermediate or greater tiers.

I decided to price them at 7.5k, 15k each and 30k, or 2, 4, and 8 BP, which is more likely what's going to be spent.

The party even got to try them out, when the ranger fought a duel with the groom-to-be.

Switch-hitting L3 Ranger, greatsword, power attack, vs L1/4 Aristocrat/Bard, with 4 uses of Deivon's Parry, and bladed dash.

The duel ended with the poor groom-to-be unconscious, taking 1 point of overflow, and the ranger, at 6 points from unconscious herself... while the rest of the party watched from nearby, causing their own problems with the assorted nobles in residence. Much shenanigans occurred, and everyone had a good time. (Except the groom, he's NOT having good time, things in fact, are as close to Not-good, as you can get.)

I'm headed over to post over here, but as things are still actively developing, and not everyone knows ALL the secrets that have been learned... much will remain locked in my head ... for now.

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