Talk:Improved Masterwork (3.5e Feat)

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Comments Welcome[edit]

If anyone with a good eye for balance sees any troubles with this, do tell. Hopefully I have everything balanced. The idea is that there are masterwork swords, and then there are Hanzo Masterwork swords of legend which may not even be magical, but of such quality as to almost be so. Comments welcome. -- Eiji 02:51, 10 January 2008 (MST)

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but there's already a variant rule for improved degrees of masterwork items. Granted, it doesn't allow the great variation your feat does. But then, your feat isn't quite specific on whether you can't stack a second masterwork feature with other masterwork features, just itself. If you can do this, then consider how a Brutal, Lightweight, Durable, Defending masterwork greatsword is only DC 40. Compare this to the rules given in the above link, and your feat comes out as vastly stronger, at least in terms of cost (one feat) to gain (a weapon with enough enhancements for at least a +2). Even without the ability to combine enhancements, are you sure this shouldn't be an epic feat? Look how little the DC increases, and yet how much you're giving for it. Some of these abilities, while not magical by your rules, quite probably should be. Think about how hard it is to make a masterwork item over a normal one. A whole second DC check of 20, just for a +1 to attack rolls. You're adding to this a +1 to damage for a mere DC 25? -- Cronocke 03:40, 10 January 2008 (MST)
Aware of it I was not. Interesting. But yes, I did mean for multiple effects to stack, provided you can afford the DC cost increase. Now that I'm awake I do see the DCs are set to low so I'll be raising them, the question is by how much. Whatever the case, I am 100% sure I do not want it to be an epic feat. Ideally someone should be able to craft one of the lesser effects by level 1-3, and afford either many lesser effects or one of the greater effects by levels 18-20.
Thinking of it in that way I tried to figure out the likely maximum points in craft someone could get short of spells I'm not aware of and aid another tricks. Hopefully I'mm not too far off with these examples...
  • Lvl 1 (4 ranks + 4 Int + 5 feats) = +13
  • Lvl 5 (9 ranks + 4 Int + 5 feats + 5 item) = +23
  • Lvl 10 (13 ranks + 5 Int + 5 feats + 10 item) = +33
  • Lvl 15 (18 ranks + 7 Int + 5 feats + 25 moment of prescience + 20 item) = +75
  • Lvl 20 (23 ranks + 9 Int + 5 feats + 25 moment of prescience + 30 item) = +90
Hmm, Moment of Prescience breaks it... well, I think those are optimized enough to judge on (I'm sure if you tried you could get it higher). If I raise the minor effects to +15 the minimum for one would be DC 35, technically achievable by level 1 with a good roll (nat 20, max ranks, +2 aid another perhaps). This becomes troublesome when Moment of Prescience jumps your craft scores absurdly.
And the later effects I can raise to DC +30 and +60, making it difficult to have an Undead AND Plant Busting weapon even with Moment of Prescience. I'm not sure how to handle stacking the lesser effects, perhaps "no more effects than half your Int modifier, round down, minimum 1".
Moving on (what a long post) you're probably referring to the "smite aligned X as if a size larger" enchantments when you talk about the near magical ones. Unfortunately I didn't have room for flavoring, but the idea I was thinking that these quasi-magical effects were a result of your quasi-magical processes, like cooling your blade in demon blood and crafting it on evil aligned planes with only the finest brimstone furnace to heat your weapon... none of which is actually enchanting it, but the 'evil rubs off' to make your Evil Marked blade. I left that for fluff rather than mechanics though.
I'll go ahead and change the DCs, but leave out the limit on abilities due to Int score for the moment until I'm sure. What do you think? -- Eiji 08:35, 10 January 2008 (MST)
I can understand how you don't want those powerful abilities to not be magical, but consider how demons are by their very nature magical... infusing a blade with demon blood would give it a magical enhancement. Also, note that many spells use material components - this concept isn't much different, just that you're enchanting a blade instead of casting a spell outright. If you're not going to make this an epic feat, at least move these last powerful abilities to an epic version of this feat - Epic Masterwork, perhaps. Also, I've noticed how you're not increasing the cost of these improved masterwork enhancements... just making the Craft check much harder. What this means is that your quasi-magical enhancements are ridiculously cheap to buy off of other people, and the only reason to withhold them from low level parties is effectively DM fiat. And nobody likes DM fiat. So my suggestions are...
  • Add price increases for the various abilities.
  • Move the strongest abilities to a second, Epic Masterwork feat.
  • Consider rewording, changing, or removing the quasi-magical abilities.
You don't really need to add an limiter yet, as high DCs should keep that mostly in check. Test in a game to make sure, though. -- Cronocke 16:15, 10 January 2008 (MST)
Price! Doh! I totally forgot and somehow assumed that the price went up with DC. Silly me. After some deliberation I have decided to cut away some of the higher abilities for a second feat (and that way I can expand that list a bit more). Changes will be made soon, I think I'll settle on your last suggestions. -- Eiji 20:11, 10 January 2008 (MST)
I'm having some trouble with the tables, and admittedly I'm not sure how to fix it anymore. If someone has a better idea than I, by all means, please help. I tried to add another column for prices, and... yeah. -- Eiji 17:50, 15 January 2008 (MST)
fixed. --Othtim 18:09, 15 January 2008 (MST)
Prices added. -- Eiji 00:09, 31 January 2008 (MST)
Just an idea, but for the "Riding" and "Quiet" armours that give +1 to a skill (ride, move silently, etc)... it might be rad to instead make them reduce the armour check penalty by 1. Seems to make more sense...I don't see how armour could ever *improve* someone's ability to move silently. Just an idea. --Othtim 01:02, 15 February 2008 (MST)
While I never actually thought of it in detail, I can actually see armor which does those things. For Riding, it's form fitted to groove snug to your mount, and for Move Silently, the underpadding is weaved just so to soak up the noise of walking. Though, I totally see your point. I'll consider it. -- Eiji 02:06, 15 February 2008 (MST)
You're probably right. I take it back. :) --Othtim 02:08, 15 February 2008 (MST)
Should this not be a Craft feat? --TK-Squared 10:24, 6 March 2008 (MST)
I added masterwork ammunition to the list --Gd1 8:43, 10 March 2009 (Pacific Time)

Does It Need to be a Feat?[edit]

First off, I like it a lot. But does it really need to be a feat? Having skill ranks in Craft sucks as-is, I don't think we need to charge people who invest in that a feat to make those ranks slightly more worthwhile. Surgo 11:20, 10 March 2009 (MDT)

I'll leave it as a feat, and leave it up to a DM to give it freely. Like, I give Eschew Materials for free all the time by default, but for the occasional super-gritty game where you need all the silly little feats, endurance matters, and other such, they'd probably want it. I'm glad you like it though. -- Eiji 20:08, 10 March 2009 (MDT)
I think this idea actually works much better as a variant rule. Why not just adopt Building a Better Masterwork and add all these options into that? --Green Dragon 12:41, 11 March 2009 (MDT)
That page you linked has plenty of its own problems, no need to add all of them onto what's already a perfectly good idea. Surgo 12:43, 11 March 2009 (MDT)

Moment of Prescience[edit]

I know you say MOP breaks it, and technically by game rules you make one check and then item creation takes X number of weeks, but if it takes a week to make a sword (just as an example) and MOP lasts less than a day, from a non-roleplaying perspective I would have to say MOP can't influence this check. -- Jota 20:54, 10 March 2009 (MDT)

On another note, Fabricate.
Craft checks really need to be faster to be useful for anyone beyond NPCs. Fabricate fixes it. Too bad it requires mid-level magic. A crafter who is serious about craft checks should always invest in an Item of Fabricate at some point. -- Eiji 22:51, 10 March 2009 (MDT)
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