Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Magic Item Reset (XII): Hands items

We are almost finished now. Here are a handful of items to boost your attacks in a variety of ways.

Gloves of Sleight of Hand - Level 2+ Common Hands
Lvl 2 (Heroic); Lvl 12 (Paragon); Lvl 22 (Epic)
Property: You can use a +4 bonus instead of your dexterity modifier when making Thievery checks.
   Level 12: +7 bonus.
   Level 22: +10 bonus.
Power(Encounter). Free action. Special: Use this power only during your turn. Effect: You draw a weapon or a stored object, or you sheathe a weapon or stow an item. 
    Level 12: You can use this power as an at-will, but only once per turn.
    Level 22: You can draw a weapon or object, and you can sheathe a weapon or stow an item. Resolve both effects in any order.

Gauntlets of Glancing Blows - Level 4+ Common Hands
Lvl 4 (Heroic); Lvl 14 (Paragon); Lvl 24 (Epic)
Power (At-will). Minor action. Until the end of turn, your damaging attacks take a -2 penalty to damage and deal 3 damage on a miss.
    Level 14: -4 penalty to damage, 6 damage on a miss.
    Level 24: -6 penalty to damage, 9 damage on a miss.

Gloves of Piercing – Level 6+ Common Hands
Lvl 6 (Heroic); Lvl 16 (Paragon); Lvl 26 (Epic)
Property: Your attacks ignore up to 3 points of resistance. . When you hit an enemy, if the enemy has resistance against any damage types of your attack, you reduce its resistance against those damage types by 5 until the end of your next turn
    Level 16:  Ignore 6 points of resistance, reduce resistance by 10.
    Level 26:  Ignore 9 points of resistance, reduce resistance by 15.  

Gloves of Mercy - Level 8+ Common Hands
Lvl 8 (Heroic); Lvl 18 (Paragon); Lvl 28 (Epic)
Property: You can use a +4 bonus instead of your wisdom modifier when making Heal checks.
Level 18: +7 bonus.
Level 28: +10 bonus.
Power (At-will). free action. Trigger: You damage an enemy with an attack. Effect: You take a -3 penalty to the attack damage. If the attack does not reduce the target to 0 hit points, the next time you use a power that allows an ally to spend a healing surge this turn, the ally regains 1d6 additional hit points.
    Level 18:  -6 penalty, 2d6 additional hit points.
    Level 28: -9 penalty, 3d6 additional hit points.

Gloves of the Wind - Level 3+ Uncommon Hands
Lvl 3 (Heroic); Lvl 13 (Paragon); Lvl 23 (Epic)
Power (At-will). Minor action. Until the end of turn, you take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, and whenever you hit an enemy with an attack that pushes, pulls, or slides, increase the distance moved by 1 square. At the end of this movement, the target grants combat advantage to all adjacent characters until the end of your next turn.
    Level 13: 2 squares.
    Level 23: 3 squares.

Gloves of Fearsome Abandon - Level 5+ Uncommon Hands
Lvl 5 (Heroic); Lvl 15 (Paragon); Lvl 25 (Epic)
Power (At-will). Minor action. You take a -2 penalty to all defenses until the start of your next turn. The next enemy you hit this turn takes a -3 penalty to damage rolls until the end of your next turn. This is a fear effect.
    Level 15: -6 penalty.
    Level 25: -9 penalty.

Bloodclaws - Level 6+ Uncommon Hands
Lvl 6 (Heroic); Lvl 16 (Paragon); Lvl 26 (Epic)
Power (Encounter). minor action. You take 1d4 damage, and your next melee or ranged attack this turn deals an extra d10 damage on a hit.
Level 16: Take 2d4 damage, and deal extra 2d10 damage.
Level 26: Take 3d4 damage and deal extra 3d10 damage.

Gloves of the Brawler - Level 7+ Uncommon Hands
Lvl 7 (Heroic); Lvl 17 (Paragon); Lvl 27 (Epic)
Property: You can make unarmed attacks as if you were armed with a +2 magic club. Power (Encounter). Minor Action. You make a grab attack with a +2 power bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 17: +4 magic club, +4 power bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 27: +6 magic club, +6 power bonus to the attack roll.

Gauntlets of Ogre Power - Level 2+ Rare Hands
Lvl 2 (Heroic); Lvl 12 (Paragon); Lvl 22 (Epic)
Property:  You can use a modifier of +4 instead of your Strength modifier when making an athletics check, an strength ability check, or a damage roll for a melee basic attack.
    Level 12: +7 modifier.
    Level 22: +10 modifier.
Power(Daily) Minor Action. Until the end of the encounter, your melee attacks deal half damage on a miss and push targets 1 square on a hit.
   Level 12: Push 2 squares on a hit, and gain a +3 bonus to damage rolls.
   Level 22: Push 3 squares, and gain a +6 bonus to damage rolls.

Gloves of Admixture- Level 7+ Rare Hands
Lvl 7 (Heroic); Lvl 17 (Paragon); Lvl 27 (Epic)
Power (At-Will) Minor action. Choose one of the following damage types: fire, cold, lightning, thunder, acid. The next attack you make this turn gains that damage type in addition of any damage types it already has.
Power (Encounter) Minor action. The next time you damage an enemy with an attack this turn, that enemy takes an extra d4 damage for each damage type of the attack.
    Level 17: 1d8 damage for each damage type.
    Level 27: 1d12 damage for each damage type.

As usual, any feedback will be greatly appreciated.



  1. An interesting mix! What's with all the self-inflicted penalties in this set? The Gloves of Fearsome Abandon in particular have a high cost for a very weak effect, and at Uncommon rarity too.

  2. Gloves of Sleight of Hand kind of paint you into a corner. Spamming common items becomes powerful at that point.

  3. I wanted the theme of hand items to be the ability to modify a character's attacks. This gave me the opportunity to create a lot of variants of Power Attack, which is a mechanic I love. I wanted these to be at-will whenever possible, with effects that were situationally useful but which shouldn't be spammed every turn. That's harder than it sounds, since there isn't actually much margin between "strong enough to use" and "strong enough to use every turn".

    In the case of the Gloves of FA, I wanted to use the AC penalty and have it be an actual penalty (i.e. no defense-> attack conversions). The implementation I came up with is obviously not a very good bargain if the targeted enemy just attacks you, but if you are using it at range, or teaming up with a defender, it should be much more tempting. It could even be used by the defender when he's not really threatened but he really needs to protect an ally... though that's a bit to situational.

    As for Sleight of Hand, they are supposed to let you switch between melee and ranged weapons, help with potions, and occasionally support multiple sets of magic weapons or implements with different enchantments. I think the common list of items you can wield is safe enough for this to exist. Do you see any item combination that could lead to spamming abuse?

  4. (Argh, Blogspot ate my first comment. You'd think I'd have gotten into the habit of saving off long comments before posting them by now, but nooo. Trying again.)

    I'm not buying it re: Gloves of FA. (1) It's a minor action pre-attack, so if you miss, you're saddled with the penalty for no benefit. (2) -2/tier is a drop in the bucket compared to post-MM3 damage expressions. The first time a monster hits you thanks to your defense penalty, all the damage you've shaved off will be eclipsed. (3) It's a fear effect, so various monsters will ignore it anyway.

    If I got this in a treasure drop, it'd go something like this: "Ooh, uncommon! ...What, seriously?... Well, at least I can sell it at 50%." Here are some suggestions to fix that, usable singly or in combination:

    * Swap its place in the level lineup with Gloves of the Wind.
    * Double the damage penalty. If that worries you, make it an encounter power.
    * Make the power a 1/round free action triggered on hit, instead of a minor action that can still whiff.
    * Reduce the defense penalty to -1.
    * Remove the flavorful but insult-to-injury fear keyword.

    Speaking of Gloves of the Wind, there's another one where the cost is too steep. Slapping an attack penalty on something that requires a hit to be effective makes it unattractive. You may love Power Attack, but you're in the minority. Missing sucks; as a player I have every incentive to maximize my hit chance, not saddle myself with penalties to it. Minus to damage (which would be appropriate for the wind gloves!) and damage to self like you use elsewhere, or hell, even healing surges tend to be more palatable costs than attack penalties.

  5. The main issue is that, the default idea for weapons in 4E was "Well, they use up an item slot." Then they had things that let people quick draw off-turn for sheathing. Ever since, a wizard who took Arcane Familiar was able to swap in an Orb of Mental Constitution at will. The rarity system cleared this up-but the side effect is that you can't have ANY common weapon/held items that have expendable powers, unless you're fine with people being able to swap items off-turn.

    So, again-it's not an issue with existing powers. It's just an issue with the kinds of powers you're free to create.

  6. And to be honest, it also applies to uncommons to some extent. After all, characters still get a handful of them over 30 levels. A daily power weapon can be swapped out pretty easily, meaning that even after 20 levels, it doesn't lose it's usefulness.

  7. @Thomas:

    Ah, I understand. I already work under the assumption that easily swappable (i.e. weapons/implements) items with expendable powers should be reduced to the minimum expression. So my lists rarely include examples of those, even at uncommon - for the most part, weapon/implement powers refer to attacks made with that item. As far as I can tell, the item swapping shenanigans that you can pull with these items aren't all that dangerous, and require level-appropriate items. So the Gloves shouldn't cause much harm in such an environment.

    So, from my point of view, the Gloves didn't restrict which items I could make, because that was a restriction (no swapping abuse) that I was working with, anyway. If you wanted to expand this list with a different set of rules, you should probably kill the gloves.

    It's possible that Gloves of FA are underpowered. The intent is that when activating the effect, you end up more or less even if only the target attacks you, you are slightly screwed if two or more enemies pile on you, and you get a decent benefit if nobody attacks you that turn. I'll probably improve it a bit, I just want to make sure that its use is a real choice, and not something to spam mindlessly (nor something to ignore altogether, of course!).

    As for Gloves of the Wind, I am aware of the (often justified) prejudices against hit penalties, which is why I have only used in this item. The thing I like about penalizing hit is that you're giving up something really valuable, so the item can have a strong effect in return. Which, to be honest, is where the item doesn't really deliver (though I do like the paragon and epic versions - it's the heroic one which I find somewhat underwhelming). In this case, I'd prefer to improve the effect rather than reduce the penalty.

  8. Hmmmmm... how long does it take to swap pairs of spiked gauntlets? Brawler Fighters can spam item powers now that I think about it. Hmmmm...

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  11. For aesthetics sake, I'd say make Gloves of Piercing bypass 2/5/10 damage.

  12. I never liked the 2/5/10 progression much. I get that the numbers are prettier, but when the cost is screwing up with balance across tiers, I don't think it's really worth it. Generally, using that progression will lead to a game element that is a bit too weak at heroic, and way better once you get to epic - and, maybe because I rarely take the designer hat off, I tend to find that less pleasing aesthetically.