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D&D 3E
Artifact question 
22nd-Jun-2009 08:28 pm
I have a question for idle discussion: Why do the Orbs of Dragonkind have DC 25 Will save to resist? If you take gold dragons as an example, their Will save is +16 as a Young Adult -- which will save against the Orb more than half of the time (and that's assuming the dragon is not wearing a Wisdom or Save-boosting item).

Since these are supposed to be artifacts, any thoughts on why the save DC is so low? Is "these are artifacts" countered by "these are dragons--they're supposed to be badass" ?

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there--I'd like to get some other opinions about it. Thanks!
23rd-Jun-2009 12:37 am (UTC)
I'm assuming it's because the power doesn't appear to have a use limit, so it can presumably be used once per round. The bigger dragons may thrash and resist for a while but they'll fail eventually (Minimum 5% chance per use).
23rd-Jun-2009 12:43 am (UTC)
That's kind of what I was thinking--because you automatically fail saves on a natural 1.

25 still seems a *bit* low, though, since great wyrms will *only* fail it on a 1.
23rd-Jun-2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, but practically ALL of the artifacts have surprisingly low saves and/or use limits. It's kinda something I've learned to ignore. :P
23rd-Jun-2009 02:04 am (UTC)
What are you? Some kind of Jedi?

Those tricks only work on the weak minded!!

I would just balance out the significance of the object against its usability in game.
23rd-Jun-2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
And the whole "Dragons hunt you now" hook
23rd-Jun-2009 03:53 am (UTC)
The AC and saves of the dragon go a long way towards making combat with powerful dragons more survivable, and the "dragon-sense" ability helps you choose the circumstances of engagement. The Gold orb gets you AC 40 and saves 28/19/28. That makes you a match for any Adult gold dragon - all you need to do is survive for three-odd rounds until it fails a save. Just keep running and Tumbling away so it can't full-attack you, remembering to use a standard action each round to activate the Orb. Once you've got your first dragon, use it to distract the second while you use the Orb. And so on. An army of Adult dragons is nothing to sneeze at.

Also, as a game designer you never want to put an "I Win" button in, even as an artifact. The way the Orbs are designed, it takes a little while to build up your unstoppable dragon army. That gives the PCs a chance to stop the BBEG who has the orb before he becomes too powerful, while still giving them the opportunity to fight the level-appropriate dragons he's already dominated.
24th-Jun-2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
You know, that's a good point about how you get the dragon's AC and save bonuses, making you stronger than you were before (presumably; and if it doesn't make you stronger, then what were you worried about in the first place?).
23rd-Jun-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Also the DC of an object is generally set by the spell level of the spell needed to create it plus the minimum stat bonus needed to cast that spell.

So for an orb of Dragonkind it would be (presumably) Dominate Monster (9th level) + Minimum intelligence to cast as a wizard (or cha as a sorcerer) 19 which is a +4 bonus. This comes up to a 23 DC, so a 25 DC for an artifact is not unreasonable at all.

Plus, as a lot of the other posters mentioned, you should never have a 'weapon of constant pwning' that works all the time flawlessly.
23rd-Jun-2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
^ What they said.

Also I would be a strong proponent for the "They're fuggin dragons, dude" argument.
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