Between my two campaigns, I've recently come up with a few questions that I'm hoping you can help me with.Critcal Mimic?
This past week, my Wednesday group came upon a door during their dungeon crawl that proceeded to fight back. The party (especially my lawyer) was a little surprised to find that crits did double damage on this adversary when the idea of critical hits is that you can find the critical limb to cut off, etc. A door should not have critical points and thus should be immune to crits, which is why constructs are uncritable. This is correct, however, the PCs were facing a mimic, which is categorized as an aberration and is not immune to crits, at least according to the MM. I realize that as a living creature (if a magically messed up version of one), mimics can be critted, but the mimics also spend their time in the form of objects and furniture, thus making it similar to an animated object. Can anyone tell me, philosophically, where the line is? I guess the question comes between shapeshifters and constructs... why does one have 'crit points' and the other not? Does a mimic in the form of a door have 'crit' points that an animated door wouldn't have? I realize this is nitpicky, but I'm feeling philosophical and am curious if any of you have thoughts on the matter.Spawns and Constructs
My second question comes from my other game. The party is on their way into a swamp filled with magical creations of a black dragon overlord. There are even creature templates for the kinds of 'experiments' she does on the creatures she gets ahold of. One of those is the dragonspawn, which turns a humanoid into a monstrous humanoid with some dragonlike abilities (breath, etc.) Now, I've been trying to come up with a single magic item for each character to help them with their trip into the swamp and for our mystic/cleric I am looking at the Mace of Smiting from the DMG (pg 227). I would adjust it to be a light mace and alter its damage accordingly. My question is this. Could I justify altering that so a crit on one of the spawns or other magical experiments that they face has a, say, 50% chance of also being disintigrated? I realize that these creatures are not constructs because they are not altered objects but altered living beings. I also realize what since this is my game and I'm the DM, I CAN do anything I want to, but I wanted to propose it to you guys. Does anyone have any advice? I don't want the weapon to be too powerful, if you have any suggestions on how to tweak it, let me know.Dawn of Intelligence
My last question is more of a proposal, really, and I want to see what you guys think. In coming up with a magic item for each character in my game, I keep coming to the idea of intelligence. I am shying away from it for the most part, because it's troublesome both for me and the characters. And I have so many NPCs as it is. But the idea still intrigues me. So, I played around with it and came up with a thought. My idea is to give our bard a magic item that is still dawning it's intelligence. Right now, it's at the barebones, Int, Cha and Wis at 10. There is a story behind why it's dawning consciousness, but I won't go into it. With stats like that, it can't do anything, and really isn't 'intelligent'. However, it bonds with its wielder and will grow into alignment, purpose, abilities, etc, with our bard. The idea is that whenever our bard rolls a nat 20 on a skill or spell, he can roll a will save. He if either makes or fails his will save (haven't decided which), his rod grows a little bit by learning from the bard. If it is a spell, the rod gains a point in cha. If it is a knowledge or perception type skill, the rod gains a point in int. And if it is a skill that deals with understanding, working with, or leading other people, the rod gains a point in wisdom. When the rod gets 2 of those stats at 12, it will gain empathy and a single lesser power. It also will slowly alter its alignment to match its wielders (since its like he's learning from the bard as he grows, not being a fullfledged intelligent item yet), but I'm not sure how that will work exactly. Also, I'm considering the idea that if the rod does gain a stat point, the bard will feel the affects, by feeling temporarily fatigued, as if he just took a really hard final exam that fried his brain. Haven't decided about that, either. And lastly, the question of spells brings me to wonder if I should make him roll a spell penetration or spellcraft for every spell he casts, since spells don't always require rolls? It's all a jumble, but these are my random thoughts on the matter. Let me know what you think and if you have a beautiful way of combining it all to be simpler, I would be grateful.
(X-posted to dnd_women