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D&D 3E
Living With The Lawbreaker 
17th-Feb-2007 01:46 am
I'm playing a half-Battle-dragon cleric/fighter with a heavily enchanted fullblade named Starcleaver that he's got several feats for. It's a fairly high-powered campaign. I have the opportunity to upgrade Starcleaver to an intelligent item, and I'd love to give it a dedicated purpose. Since the character is basically a samurai, seeking out honorable combat wherever he can find it, I thought that an appropriate purpose would be "convert or destroy the dishonorable".

Only one problem - another member of the party is a rogue with a ring of invisibility. Up until now, the cleric's been satisfied casting Invisibility Purge every time he notices the rogue slip his ring on. The DM feels that with a dedicated purpose, though, things would have to step up a notch.

I'm looking for a way to make this work. The only idea I've thought of so far is that the cleric's trying to somehow convert the rogue through example, but that seems like a copout. Any advice is appreciated.
17th-Feb-2007 07:35 am (UTC)
Is punching him in the throat and taking the ring an option?



You could try challenging him to a honorable contest, with some treasure you have the s/he desires, against his ring. To make it fair, you could make it a bare-knuckle brawl, without your shiny killstick or any other items besides your fists.

Depending on where you fight, and what your setup is, you can take his ring, and refrain from any dishonorable tactics.
17th-Feb-2007 09:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, If I were a rogue, I'd take any challenge of combat from a half-dragon fighter. Your options are compromise, resort to name-calling, or ditch him. Personally, I think it's your ethos that's a tad extreme in this example. You can't expect everyone to be as completely and awesomely honorable as you, especially if you want a sneak in the team. The Knight section of PHB2 has some tips on tolerating less-than-honorable types while maintaining your honor.
17th-Feb-2007 12:58 pm (UTC)
Ethos are often extreme. Look at the suggested Intelligent Item Purposes (DMG 270): "defeat/slay diametrically opposed alignment", "defeat/slay non-spellcasters", and even "defeat/slay all". They're meant to be, because the corresponding Granted Powers are pretty strong as well.
17th-Feb-2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Then there's your answer: That not an appropriate purpose for your sword. Ask your DM for takebacks because this is gonna wreck your party over a pointy thing.
18th-Feb-2007 02:42 am (UTC)
There's nothing to "take back", the item isn't created yet. The entire point of this post was to find a way to accomplish this WITHOUT "ruining the party over a pointy thing". I'm getting a lot of comments just not to try anything, which doesn't really address the issue.
18th-Feb-2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Then what is the issue if we're all clueless after reading your post three times? You wanna do something that conflicts with a party member. You haven't done it yet. Easy solution: don't do it. Your killer idea here is fighting dishonor when you have a dishonorable party member. Change it to say evil or something else that your party does not include. Dishonorable is not working here.
18th-Feb-2007 03:21 am (UTC)
Change it to say evil or something else that your party does not include.

THIS is helpful. "Specific Item Purposes aren't meant as PC weapons for reasons X,Y, and Z" is helpful. Saying that something is a bad idea, when I just said I knew it was and I'm looking for alternatives, isn't quite as helpful. Thanks, though.
23rd-Feb-2007 04:31 am (UTC)
For the record, I agree with the "change it to evil" bit. :-) You do have a dishonorable person in your party, and you're going to have to face that sooner or later. Having a blood-crazed sword that wants to kill everyone dishonorable? Sooner.
17th-Feb-2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
First, I'd like to point out that this is a dangerous place to take the game. It's the type of thing that would work swimmingly well in a novel, but in a game, it's much more likely to cause bickering and hurt feelings. It's not fun when my character is bossing around your character or trying to kill him because he's "not honorable enough" etc.

Anyway, if the rogue were to swear fealty to the samurai and be discreet about his "dishonorable" behavior...and when caught doing his dishonorable thing, apologize/promise to work harder at upholding his honor...then Starcleaver wouldn't present a problem.

Whether the rogue's player would consent to this new dynamic is another matter entirely. Personally, I'd rather start rolling up new characters than turn my PC into another PC's cohort like that.
18th-Feb-2007 02:44 am (UTC)
So what's a specific item purpose that wouldn't disrupt the game? I have to think that since the items have their own section in the DMG, they were supposed to be usable by players.
18th-Feb-2007 06:16 am (UTC)
* Defend the house of [your samurai's lord]
* Defeat CN or CE (depending on whether you're LG or LN)
* Defeat dishonorable arcane casters

It might be a good idea to talk to the rogue's player and see what he thinks about how to run the relationship between the two characters - he might have some ideas on how to move forward.

Good luck!
17th-Feb-2007 04:06 pm (UTC) - Hold on just a second...
What exactly is this rogue doing? Is he stealing from the party, or is he using the ring to gain advantage over your mutual enemies?

Ham-fisted enforcement of honor and/or alignment is only going to be met with resistance, and it can bleed into out-of-game tension. Even the samurai knew that there were things in this world they could not change (and believe me, in the past six months I've done quite a bit of research on samurai). If you want to bring the rogue to your character's philosophy/ethos, your best bet is to lead by example in the hop that he follows. It is NOT a copout, but an opportunity to get into some really good role-playing.
18th-Feb-2007 02:48 am (UTC) - Re: Hold on just a second...
He's using it for the party. This was probably the most helpful comment so far, thanks a lot.
20th-Feb-2007 05:47 pm (UTC) - With that in mind...
I'd say go with a "Slay Evil" kind of purpose, because the concept of honor can be highly subjective, whereas Alignment's right there on the sheet. I *think* Oriental Adventures has rules for honor, but if you don't use it, it's a moot point.

This helps give your samurai/cleric a definite purpose that's easily defined in both game mechanics and role-playing.
20th-Feb-2007 06:03 pm (UTC) - Re: With that in mind...
Yeah, that was kinda where I was drifting off to, but I decided just not to give it a Specific Purpose after all. The enhancement bonuses were so high that that would give it an Ego of somewhere near 25 while the cleric/fighter only has a Will save of 8. I tossed two lesser powers and speech on there instead - no 10d6 lightning bolt, but Zone of Truth would be nice.

Which I proposed to the DM and he promptly shot down - I wanted to have it reforged with Aurorum, which would mean a new item with a value of over 200k, which would take nearly a year to create. I figure I'll just wait and see what pops up. I posted the completed idea here anyway. Thanks for the input!
17th-Feb-2007 04:41 pm (UTC) - Compromise
D&D is a group game. Don't do something that will disrupt the group. Period.

But here are some questions to ask yourself:

1) How would you (or your character) define "honor" or "honorable?" It's a pretty complex and loaded term. Is it possible that your character may not consider the rogue and his doings dishonorable?

2) If your character wishes to take up a quest/oath/whatever that would require him to kill one of the other party members, then why the bloody hell are these two traveling together??.

But if you really feel your character has to move in such a direction that he can no longer work with the rest of the party, then he should leave the party. That's it. If you don't want him to leave, then you have to make some compromises so that the party can work together, and that might require giving up your intelligent item.
17th-Feb-2007 06:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Compromise
Agreed with Highbulp on this.

Gamewise, I can't see the "honorable" intellegent sword bringing the party together here. The option you might have here is if you were willing to pick an intellegent weapon with a different personality/ethos. You still get your intellegent weapon while you aren't pressed to slay the party rogue.

On a comment with Highbulp's comment #1, concider this: If the party rogue is facing an enemy rogue, is that an "honorable" match up?
18th-Feb-2007 03:05 am (UTC) - Re: Compromise
Of course, this is why I posted. I'm looking for a specific purpose that would allow things to continue smoothly.
18th-Feb-2007 02:53 am (UTC) - Re: Compromise
I'm trying to work the weapon into the party, not vice-versa. He has no plans to leave the party, he'd rather just not upgrade the weapon. The point is, I'm looking for a Specific Purpose that would suit the character and not despise the rogue.
18th-Feb-2007 08:21 pm (UTC) - Re: Compromise
After reading other posts, I think I see what you're asking now. You're asking for an intelligent weapon purpose which wouldn't disrupt the party.

As written, your original post sounds like you are trying to figure out a way to get your "dishonorable killer" weapon into the group. And my advice to that was: don't. Indeed, it seems that most people agree with my reading.

As for a good purpose... sorry, I don't have one. You haven't given much detail about your character other than he is a samurai, so really I have no idea where to go. Based on other samurai characters, maybe "defeat anyone who draws swords against him, and only those who draw swords against him." I like the idea of a weapon that won't let you fight if it's dishonorable, but kicks serious ass if you are in an honorable fight. Of course, I'm not looking at the intelligent weapon rules, so I don't know whether that is restrictive enough.

Why don't you post more about your character's background/motivation/stuff, instead of his rivalry with the party rogue? Then we'd have more a basis to work on.

BTW, I'm sorry if I've ended up sounding snippy. I do understand how much it sucks when people misread your question so don't answer it. Please give us so more infor so we can help!
17th-Feb-2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
Character conflict, I see. In a non-evil game, no less.

IMO, one of your characters has to leave. Not because we don't like them. Not because they died, but because there is no logical reason for two characters who are adamantly opposed to one another to adventure together.

Samurai: "Stop sneaking around and stabbing people in the back."
Rogue: "Go fuck yourself."

>_> Sound about right?
18th-Feb-2007 02:56 am (UTC)
No, it sounds nothing close to right. The Cleric has had a tentative working relationship with the rogue thus far, with no more conflict than the occasional Invisibility Purge. Which is what their relationship is, because they were hired to investigate something. I'm trying to work the weapon into the party, not vice-versa. mHe'd rather not upgrade the weapon than cause dissention in the ranks.
23rd-Feb-2007 04:36 am (UTC)
The Invisibility Purge is just inconceivable to me, though--the last game I played in, I was the rogue and the (evocation/illusion) wizard, so I was turning myself invisible and stabbing people ALL THE TIME. If our cleric had cast IP without a really good reason (i.e. invisible enemies, too) I would have been VERY SAD.

Just to clarify.

Perhaps a better question is why are you deliberately taking away his advantage occasionally? Are there valid reasons (e.g. invisible enemies also in the area)?
17th-Feb-2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
I feel sorry for whoever plays the rogue in your game. If some one in my games tried something like that, I would find a new game.
18th-Feb-2007 02:59 am (UTC)
Tried something like what? Playing a character with a moral code in a game with a rogue? I was looking for a Specific Item Purpose that would suit the character without creating in-fighting, not seeking out a way to stick it to another player. It's kinda insulting to insinuate I was.
20th-Feb-2007 05:43 pm (UTC) - Hang on there, Sparky...
I had a Paladin who's best friend was a Cleric to the God of Thieves. Both characters had a sense of right and wrong that weren't mutually exclusive, and the chemistry ended working beautifully for four years. Zion's actively trying to NOT be disruptive to the party before implementing something, so I think it bodes well for the strength of the gaming group, and I'd imagine that both parties would have a good in-game compromise.
23rd-Feb-2007 04:37 am (UTC) - Re: Hang on there, Sparky...
I think you're right--I think we all just misinterpreted the original post.

Although the Invisibility Purge thing still bugs me.

17th-Feb-2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
If you find out that the rogue is using his invisibility to the detriment of the party, tell him that if he ever uses his skill against your character, your character will use his skills against the rogue. Oh, and, all of your skills hurt.

He's probably seen your character slaughter enough things so that he understands that annoying the killing machine is a bad idea. If he crosses the line, kill him.

Oh, and also, see if you can add See Invisible to Starcleaver, and don't tell the Rogue about that.
18th-Feb-2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Heh. They're a little more amicable than that, the cleric usually just casts Invisi-purge and encourages the rogue to "Stand like a man! Your bravery and courage will see you through!"
23rd-Feb-2007 04:38 am (UTC)
Hehehe! That's pretty funny!

What if you added a "Zone of Invisibility Purge" to your sword? No invisible people within 30 feet? Or even 10 feet?
19th-Feb-2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
Im trying to figure out what the issue is?

This also all depends on your alignment of course.
23rd-Feb-2007 04:21 am (UTC)
I would strongly urge you to not let your item go all PVP on the rogue. That really pisses me off as a player, and I bet I'm not the only one.

How about just "convert the dishonorable"? I'm not too familiar with dedicated powers, though, so I don't know if that would work.

Maybe he could convince the rogue to only use the ring for scouting, not for fighting? (Not likely, I know, but try?)

Good luck!
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