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Nyrath

Altering the Black Blade

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Right, the title refers to a power Exile has and my thoughts about altering it.

A couple of months ago I was struck by the idea of changing this power from its current structure;

The Black Blade 12 [strike, Linked - Drain Toughness, Affects Objects [+1 Extra], Distracting [-1 Flaw], Accurate, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable] (Basically Corrosion with a few bells and whistles)

into

The Black Blade 12 [strike, Linked - Drain Toughness, Alternate Save: Reflex [+0 Extra], Accurate, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable]

Cons: Smells kinda cheesy; it's almost as effective, more so against some foes, as the straight version of Corrosion while costing less.

Pros: Allows me to avoid the debilitating Flaw (going from +8 to +2 Defence in close combat, hurts). And as I think about it actually fits the concept better than the old version. (If I could get away with it I'd try for a reflex same for both Damage & Drain, but the former is specifically stated as illegal in UP)

As for the concept, which is more than half the reason I feel like at least asking for a change, well:

The Black Blade is based largely upon the DnD 3.5 ninth level spell Black Blade of Disaster which is basically a sword-shaped, portable version of a Sphere of Annihilation (nice descriptive names, eh?). It is in some ways a hole in reality, destroying whatever passes through it (the sword that is, the Sphere destroys anything touching it). As such I feel that perhaps a reflex save (simulating getting out of the way of most of it) rather than a fortitude save (which would simulate hanging together in spite of having part of ones guts (or whatever) simply removed from oneself) might be better.

Oh, and while I haven't noted it or requested points for such a drawback this thing is strictly Lethal-only, and incurable at that. As such I'm not about to use it on any PCs without (Persistent) Resurrection available (and known to Exile IC), NPCs however might end up taking a permanent dirt-nap (provided enough of them remain) unless the refs, mods, or general public are against it.

Now in closing, I wonder just what you all think of it. Is is okay for me to make such a change or should I stick to the current form?

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A couple of months ago I was struck by the idea of changing this power from its current structure;

The Black Blade 12 [strike, Linked - Drain Toughness, Affects Objects [+1 Extra], Distracting [-1 Flaw], Accurate, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable] (Basically Corrosion with a few bells and whistles)

into

The Black Blade 12 [strike, Linked - Drain Toughness, Alternate Save: Reflex [+0 Extra], Accurate, Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable]

So all you're doing is changing the save, dropping the affect objects, and dropping the flaw?

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In a nutshell yes, the fact that it's more cost effective (saving me 1pp/rank) for almost the same effectiveness as the regular three-point version smells more than a little of cheese to my nose, which is I'm checking with who ever is interested if it's alright with them.

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In a nutshell yes, the fact that it's more cost effective (saving me 1pp/rank) for almost the same effectiveness as the regular three-point version smells more than a little of cheese to my nose, which is I'm checking with who ever is interested if it's alright with them.

So what is the IC reason for the change? That would play a big role in how people accept the change. You've explained the OOC reasons: Fits the concept better, cheaper, more effective. What about the IC reasons? What you're proposing is a major change to the item and usually, for those types of changes, an IC reason is usually needed.

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psst... it's not an item, per se, it's a spell.

Oh! :oops:

that changes things then. Sure, change away.

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Honestly, I'm a bit leery on it. Partly because I don't believe Alternate Save/Reflex is allowed for either Damage or Drain. I could be mis-remembering, though.

Also, if you were to be "working out a new spell," I'd prefer it to be something you add as an Alternate Power (i.e., you still have the old version and the new one), not a change to an existing power/spell.

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Your concerns are understandable, I'll hereby try to alleviate them somewhat.

First off; Alternate Save: Reflex isn't allowed on Damage of any kind, but Drains have no such restrictions. Of course, it's a matter of justification to take it, but that's the same as when you change any save. This is one of the few kinds of effects/descriptions where at least I feel it might well be justified. But, I understand that not everyone might feel like this which is why I've taken so long to ponder this and finally started this topic before taking it to the Character Bank.

Secondly; it's not "working out a new spell", it's more of a retcon (or however one might want to phrase it) of an existing one. It's the realisation that the concept is better served by having the mechanics structured somewhat differently.

If you feel that an IC explanation for the change is needed, it can simply be the fact that he's remembered more of just how he did it earlier before he was betrayed; this is after all one of those spells he's developed (or at least used) on his own without calling upon an external powers assistance.

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I'm honestly leery myself of adding something like alternate reflex save to a drain, especially a toughness drain, which is close enough to doing damage.

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How about treating the Alternate Save as a +1 rather than +0 Extra in this case? I'm fine with limiting myself to a Strike 12 linked to a Drain 8 rather than 12 on both.

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Okay, here's what it is.. I'm assuming you mean for both powers to hit the person at once? It's already a fairly nasty combo effect, and ontop of it making drain toughness a save against something non traditional, and something people with high toughness scores are unlikely to have all that high.. It basically is pretty much putting "save vs reflex" on a damage power.

Which is to say, you note it's basically a funkier corrosion, and I'm more than moderately certain you can't put alt save: reflex on corrosion, so I wouldn't allow it here.

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Alright, I will have to contend with keeping the fortitude save on the drain. I'll likely lower it though so as to be able to get rid of Distracting.

As for it being a funkier corrosion; it's the same basic effect structure in the current power, bar the flaw. That doesn't quite mean it's the corrosion power, since that be similar to saying Electrical Control, Hellfire Control and every other Blast power is the same; mechanically mostly correct (descriptors keep them separate) but not so thematically (a bolt of lightning and a gout of unholy flame being not quite the same, yes?).

Still, as I said I'll abide by the no reflex save on toughness drains decision if that is how people feel. I was somewhat sceptical myself which is why I made this topic to ask about it.

Edit: I just realised I forgot to ask something.

Would Instant Duration be a valid flaw on the Toughness Drain? This would mean that any penalty to the Toughness save would only last for the save against the Strike linked to the Drain, not any other attacks which may hit during that round or subsequent ones.

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