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Thread: Heartseeker

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    For Chapter 8, re. magic items - I thought Heartseeker might be an appropriate replacement/parallel for Vorpal weapons in the BR setting. For those who think vorpal weapons shouldn't exist, don't include this item in your campaign either.

    Heartseeker: This special ability may be used on any weapon with a thrusting tip (most piercing and slashing weapons). Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon delivers a killing blow through the heart. If the victim is a scion, this results in full bloodtheft.

    Strong divination, necromancy, and transmutation; CL 18th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, circle of death, keen edge, true strike; Price +5 bonus.


    An alternate, powered-down version might look like this:

    Heartseeker: This special ability may be used on any weapon with a thrusting tip (most piercing and slashing weapons). If the wielder scores a critical hit with this weapon, and that hit is a killing blow, then it is always a thrust through the victim's heart. If the victim is a scion, this results in full bloodtheft.

    Moderate divination and transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge, true strike; Price +3 bonus.

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Solid mechanics, I daresay...

    In particular, I would make the following changes:
    • Change the names to "Heartseeker, Minor" for the +3 special ability and "Hearthseeker, Major" for the +5 special ability, or something along these lines.
    • Lower the caster level of the +5 ability: too much.
    • Maybe include the clause from the +3 ability regarding the hit being a killing blow to the +5 ability? I might have gotten a bit confused...
    • Change the weapon description to "any bladed weapon with a thrusting tip" and remove the reference to piercing and slashing weapons.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Lower the caster level of the +5 ability: too much.
    The caster level, and the weapon's effects, are identical to a vorpal weapon, except I added true strike as an additional spell requirement.

    Maybe include the clause from the +3 ability regarding the hit being a killing blow to the +5 ability? I might have gotten a bit confused...
    The +5 one wasn't meant to be "every kill is a thrust through the heart." It's rather like the vorpal sword: any natural 20 confirmed crit is an automatic kill by a thrust through the heart. Very nasty, but not guaranteed bloodtheft on every enemy.

    The +3 version is more original, and thus a totally different set of mechanics: if you kill someone with a confirmed critical, it is always a thrust through the heart (and thus full bloodtheft).

    I'm still debating, it may be that +2 is enough for the minor ability (it doesn't actually enhance the weapon in any way, just guides the weapon on a killing critical blow to the enemy's heart) - combined with a keen weapon it would be +3, which would certainly make it a better weapon overall.

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    The minor ability is probably good at +2. It has very limited use, but is a powerful ability for scions.

    I really like the modified vorpal, I never thought of that.

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    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    Greater version is excelent idea, perfectly Birthright, one (and only one) legendary weapon of...

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Thought about something similar when putting together the chapter. Think we even talked about it, but decided it ended up making Tighmevreal less imprtant than it is supposed to be.

    If any spellcaster can place such an enchantment on a weapon then why have any quests to locate the Tighmeavral weapons?
    Duane Eggert

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Thought about something similar when putting together the chapter. Think we even talked about it, but decided it ended up making Tighmevreal less imprtant than it is supposed to be.

    If any spellcaster can place such an enchantment on a weapon then why have any quests to locate the Tighmeavral weapons?
    Are you kidding? Tighmaevriel is SO much better...ANY killing blow with a tighmaevriel weapon is true bloodtheft. A [greater] Bloodseeker (likely unique as a +5 weapon power) bloodthefts on a nat 20 critical only.

    Did you notice I didn't create a version of Heartseeker that always bloodthefted on a killing blow? That's the tighmaevriel niche, and it remains quite uncontested there.

    The only thing worse would be a vorpal tighmaevriel weapon...[shudder]. :huh:

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Lets see how really different this would be.

    Short sword threat range 19-20.

    Put keen on it or take improved critical feat, threat range goes to 17-20.

    I know it is from a non-standard WotC book(IIRC it is the Complete Adventurer), but take greater critical feat (which adds a +4 to the confirmation roll of a critical). Add to that multiple attacks with higher level then the opportunity of producing this effects starts to drastically climb, and if the opponent is denied Dex, say with a successful feignt move. . . Not to count two weapon fighting, etc.

    It doesn't make it all that different, especially since the amount of damage necessary to kill is moot since the scion is now dead. A one blow kill vice an automatic when killing.
    Duane Eggert

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    Not sure why you're bringing up threat range; like vorpal, this effect is only supposed to happen on a nat 20. I don't think I'd allow Power Critical to count towards the confirmation roll in this case, either.

    As for multiple attacks, that's contingent on being able to make a full attack in the first place, and making a full attack may actually be counterproductive if your purpose is to score this effect, as the odds of confirming a critical hit would be less on an iterative attack.
    Jan E. Juvstad.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd allow Power Critical to count towards the confirmation roll in this case, either.
    Why not? The feat has so few opportunities to be used, and it only affects rolls to confirm a crit, doesn't help you roll a natural 20 any more often. If the character is a specialist in landing decisive critical blows, wouldn't they also be better at driving home a killing thrust through the heart?

    I'm not a big fan of the feat myself: a strong attack rating will crit more often than not, improved crit with a strong attack rating even better - the feat is SO specialized as to be mostly worthless IMO. Only once in a blue moon will the feat actually pay off (as in "without this feat the crit is not confirmed").

    So using the feat with a Heartseeker blade might actually make it worthwhile.

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