Vorpal's Incapacitation Trait


Rules Discussion


The Snicker-Snack reaction granted by the vorpal rune has the incapacitation trait, so creatures of a higher level use a degree of success one step better. Does the target's level only need to be higher than the vorpal rune's level (17), or does it need to beat the level of the weapon to which the rune is attached (19 for a +3 major striking vorpal weapon)?


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SuperParkourio wrote:
The Snicker-Snack reaction granted by the vorpal rune has the incapacitation trait, so creatures of a higher level use a degree of success one step better. Does the target's level only need to be higher than the vorpal rune's level (17), or does it need to beat the level of the weapon to which the rune is attached (19 for a +3 major striking vorpal weapon)?

Despite the level of a weapon changing, property runes themselves don't. And it's them are sources of effects. They don't scale their DCs and effects (as most other magic items). So we don't have any reason to consider they would scale their levels suddenly.


Unfortunately I think Errenor is correct.

If you somehow had a vorpal rune on a +1 weapon, it would benefit from a very high DC (relative to the expected level of enemies). But once the party progressed beyond the level of the rune, it would become less and less effective.

I personally really hate this, and usually allow item's DC to scale as though it were class DC. However this has meant I also have to adjust how often some items can be used, but this is more a case by case basis that I handle it on.

Considering it only triggers on a nat 20, I would automatically allow the DC to scale with class DC. Nat 20s are rare enough.


Claxon wrote:
I personally really hate this, and usually allow item's DC to scale as though it were class DC. However this has meant I also have to adjust how often some items can be used, but this is more a case by case basis that I handle it on.

I am also not a fan of items going obsolete. But I'm not sure: items you like going useless isn't fun, but also playing 20 levels with same things isn't that much fun either. Also you have more freedom to design various items of various power level and have more of them and a more diverse set.


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The best middle ground I know of between having items stagnate and become obsolete and having them scale automatically and having low level items stay relevant even into high level:

Have upgrading the item to have a higher DC or more powerful effect be something that can be bought.

That way it still costs item budget to have that cool item. The player has to opt-in to have their item scale up and remain relevant. And it means that they will have to trade-off the funding to get a new cool high level item.


Keeping a beloved item through your entire adventure shouldn't be a negative. Scaling DCs up isn't a problem for many items, they don't scale with proficiency so will lag slightly and many higher level versions have more powerful or more variety in effects.


OrochiFuror wrote:
Keeping a beloved item through your entire adventure shouldn't be a negative. Scaling DCs up isn't a problem for many items, they don't scale with proficiency so will lag slightly and many higher level versions have more powerful or more variety in effects.

Keeping an item is not a problem. Having 30 of them since the cost is neglible for low level items is.

That's why indeed the best solution is to have to "pay" to upgrade it to a higher level item, and thus DC.

That keeps the cost, and thus the amount, of activatable items in a reasonable place.


Actually I agree that paying for an "upgrade" to the DC is reasonable and a good idea. I will have to start implementing that.

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