Bear Force One
Creating Cool Weapons and Stuff
Edit to the CHANCE option because players could do minmaxing and that’s annoying. ?
Make this a Skye-Only deal? Skye gives out essence, then gives opportunity to infuse through NPC.
THe below could also be used to come up with new weapons without having to craft them…
’Shard’s Anvil,’ a smithy owned by Devren Shard (dragon who doesn’t know he’s a dragon guy) in Berlington is one of the few smiths who knows how to properly infuse essences into his materials. Berlington in general is the hub for smiths who know a thing or two about this. Shard’s Anvil is on the pricier end and the smith is not always open, but his materials are hand collected, he’s well respected, and he has a knack for engineering. Similar smiths can be found out in the world, of course.
Dropping off armor, weapons, or commissioning new armor to be infused with essence is easy, though the process can take a couple weeks for any smith. When you commission an infusion, the blacksmith might ask what you’d like. In-character it would be “make sure it looks like leaves are covering my body” or “put a fancy snowflake lave edge to the sleeves” but out of character it could be an ability score increase, elemental resistance, or elemental damage.
Keep in mind that essence is chaotic in nature, and the smith may roll a Nat 1 on you armor, in which case you would get a random trait instead of the one you wanted.
The ability score that is affected by the armor you commission, or the type of damage your weapon will do, is affected by the element of the essence you’re infusing and the DM’s creativity. The DM may also require the player to collect a list of items to compensate for a lack of gold, or negotiate a trade, or require the player to purchase a better material armor (like steel plate instead of iron plate). The below is a general guide for coming up with infused armor for the players. The cost for commissioning armor is entirely up to the DM and depends on circumstance and whatnot. For example, the gold cost might not be high if the player is supplying all the materials, or is trading something of value. But I think the overall cost to the player in terms of a balance between gold, in-game effort and time, bartering, and so on should have some kind of rating. So I put a yelp rating of $, $$, $$$, or $$$$ in there instead.
Again, I figure they’re a cool item to include in treasure hoards, or something to find while adventuring in some tunnels or something. Like finding Materia in Final Fantasy 7 – they’re everywhere. I think a good rate would an average of 3 per session in total, of various kinds, with more being found in areas full of magic. Large or Huge essence worth several small essence would be a really rewarding treasure.
((OOC Note: I introduced essence in my game in Feb 2017 in an attempt to get some crafting in the game so players have some control over the items they adventure with and the cool stuff the items do. The magic items list for 5e is cool but isn’t very flashy.
I was inspired by the Vestiges as created by Matthew Mercer for the Critical Role group. The Vestiges each have a long list of cool abilities that are centered around a general theme, and I have already introduced several NPC groups of players in our games that are much higher level and are decked out in cool gear. I want us to get there too, and the players to have a say in what kind of cool stuff they get to use. ))
EFFECTS TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR ARMOR, SHIELD, or WEAPON
Player asks for: “Defense, Ability Score Increase.”
Adds +1 to one of the character’s stats. Which stat is up to the DM according to the element chosen while the armor is worn. (Ex. Water might be WIS, Air might be CHA.) No attunement required.
For a +2 to an ability score, the player needs 2 more essence. For a +3 you need 3 more after that. This is cumulative, so to get a +3 ability score increase from scratch, you need 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 essence. The level or material if armor may need to be leveled up, per the DM, if there are way too many essences being infused into one armor. But the blacksmith can use existing armor in crafting (or in trade to mitigate gold cost) the next tier so the player isn’t punished for leveling lower tier gear.
Player asks for: “Defense, Elemental Resistance”
Cost: $, then $$ later.
Resistances to various elements stack if you infuse multiple elements into the armor, but armor material may need to be upgraded if overloaded with more than 4 or so essences of any kind.
If the armor is being upgraded again and already has elemental resistance, elemental Immunity can be granted by infusing 8 more of the same essence into it, for a total of 9 of the same essence required to make the armor Immune to a type of damage. This DEFINITELY requires better armor material, like from regular cow leather to something like gryphon hide.
Player asks for: “Offense, Damage Kickback”
Cost: $$, then $$$ later.
Armor deals damage in response to melee damage taken. 1d6 elemental damage per Essence of the same type infused into the armor, up to 5. This offensive power does not stack with other elements. Just one element at a time.
Player asks for:Offense, Elemental Damage.
Cost: $, then $$ later
One essence grants additional elemental damage based on the damage die a weapon uses. If it’s 1d4, one essence grants 1d4 elemental damage on top of that. With each additional damage die, more essence is needed. For example, to get a 3d6 Fire damage on a club, you need 1 essence for the first die, then 2 for second, then 3 for the third, for a total of 6 essence.
Alternately, there might not be elemental damage, but the damage dice increase for 1d4 to 2d4 and upwards.
The weapon gains a cool elemental look to it whichever way.
Player asks for:Defense, Magic Effect.
Cost:$$$ or $$$$ depending on spell or magic effect
The armor is infused with the ability to cast a spell of a level associated with how many essence of a type are infused into it. One essence per spell level, though the armor, weapon, or shield can only cast it once per short rest, long rest, day, or other time period per the DM.
Alternately, the item becomes a magic item in that it provides a particular benefit associated with its element. could be cast in response to a particular type of damage. For example, armor that casts Waterbreathing on the wearer in reaction to being dropped in water, or with several Air essence infused into wing-like projections from the back, the spell Jump is always active (magical jump jets).
Player asks for:Offense, Special Trait. In character, this is likely permission to the blacksmith to get creative within a certain set of parameters, and is open only to higher level characters.
The weapon acquires a special ability or trait, as decided by the DM. This is the meat of the Essence idea I had for our campaign. I thought it would give the players some creative input on the weapons they want using the materials they gather in their travels. Combining different elements to acquire special effects leaves the door open for the DM to get extra creative with items, and the players get to choose the combo of essences they want and a general idea of what they want out of them.
For example, the wizard Rozefilian West has a pair of Chakrams infused with Lightning, Air, and Force essences. They always return to the user they’re attuned to and deal damage t more enemies on the way, and they deal severe lightning damage on a crit. Additionally, the chakrams can be charged as an Action and then thrown in a circular motion, dealing damage to enemies in a 10 foot radius each (they require dual wielding) before returning to the wizard. He is level 15, and has put a lot of effort into them.
A special alloy iron hammer (perhaps purchased or found in a dwarven mine) infused with one lightning and one force essence might have extra damage dice, such as 3d6. On a critical hit, it leaves the user’s hand, flying forward into the enemy and knocking them prone while also delivering them 1d6 Lightning damage. In the future, the player could add more Force and Lightning essence to essentially create Thor’s hammer. It would fly a certain distance, return on command, and be unmovable by anyone but the user (Force), while also being capable of lightning damage and perhaps allow the user to cast Lightning Bolt once per day. If it was me, I would allow the continued use of the hammer, but I’d require several of both Lightning and Force essence.
Plate mail infused with one Life essence may heal the player the same as a Potion of Superior Healing per Short Rest, or