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I'm working with an homebrew artifact from this file, page 34, but the way its (poorly worded?) powers work baffles me.

The artifact is a morning star, but it has an attack without the Weapon keyword that asks the wielder to make a basic ranged attack with the weapon (I guess that means to use the to-hit and damage figures of the artifact itself, but no competence bonus on the attack roll?) and a different power that's a ranged attack with the Implement keyword (again, telling me to make a ranged basic attack - but this time the power has fixed damage like Implement powers usually do).

I'd like to know if there's any official artifact, item power or regular power that works on those lines, so that I can rob the wording from there to rewrite the artifact in a rules-compliant way.

If there's no such a thing, feel free to tell me exactly that and to point out how to make those two powers work properly. Here they are:

Power (Encounter ♦ Necrotic): Standard Action. Make a ranged basic attack versus Fortitude with the weapon against a target within 5 squares of you. All damage dealt by this attack is necrotic damage and the target is weakened (save ends).

Power (Encounter ♦ Arcane, Implement, Necrotic): Standard Action. You can fire a beam of necrotic energy from the Rod. Make a ranged basic attack versus Fortitude with the weapon against a target within 5 squares of you. A hit deals 2d6 + 5 necrotic damage and ongoing 5 necrotic damage (save ends).

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2 Answers 2

Sunblade has a similar type of magical attack on a melee weapon, but there are tradeoffs.

SunbladeLevel 4+ Uncommon

This heavy golden sword attacks with the power and intensity of the sun, burning nearby enemies. Lvl 4 +1 840 gp Lvl 19 +4 105,000 gp Lvl 9 +2 4,200 gp Lvl 24 +5 525,000 gp Lvl 14 +3 21,000 gp Lvl 29 +6 2,625,000 gp

Weapon: Heavy blade

Enhancement Bonus: attack rolls and damage rolls

Critical: +1d6 damage per plus Property

This weapon can shed bright or dim light up to 20 squares. You control the brightness and range of the light.

Power (Radiant) (Free Action)

All damage dealt by this weapon is radiant damage. Another free action returns the damage to normal.

Power (Radiant) Daily (Standard Action) You cause motes of light to burst out and attach to your enemies. Make an attack: Close burst 1; targets enemies; Strength vs. Reflex (apply a bonus to the attack roll equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus); on a hit, the target takes 1d8 radiant damage.

Note how Sunblade specifies which stat you use to attack with and also how it is a close burst attack (avoiding triggering opp attacks).

The homebrew weapon seems like its stuck between being an implement and a melee weapon.

RBAs use Dex by default except for Heavy thrown weapons which use Str. IF you use theis as-is the character will miss a lot.

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Before we go on, I'd like to clarify a few things:

  1. Staff implements (artifacts or not) are always both weapon and implement, and some classes can use any blade as implement, so these "weapon implements" are quite common.
  2. Items commonly says you can make a ranged basic attack. You can use any that you have, and will use that attack's normal to hit and damage unless otherwise specified.
  3. Implement ranged basic attack power exists, and almost always has fixed damage dice, such as Magic Missile, Eldritch Blast, Dragonfrost, Sun Strike etc. You do not use weapons's damage dice when you cast them. You implement may have a weapon damage dice for when it is used as a weapon, but there is no such thing as an implement damage dice.

Now that it is clear, I will focus on official item powers, and I see a few that are similiar.

  1. Allow the wielder to use any ranged basic attack with this implement/weapon, and rides on that attack, calculating that attacks' attack roll bonus and damage bonus as normal for that attack power. I believe the first power you referred want to means this. Example: Bloodiron Rod / Thunderbolt Weapon

    Power ✦ Daily (Immediate Reaction) Use this power when you take damage. Make a ranged basic attack that uses this implement against the source of the damage. If the attack hits, [additional effect]."


    Power (Lightning) ✦ Daily (Free Action) Use this power after you make a ranged attack with this weapon. Whether the attack hits or misses, make a ranged basic attack with this weapon against a second target [...]. All of the damage from this secondary attack is lightning damage.

  2. An attack with implement keyword, that is never a ranged basic attack, but allows using the implement's bonus. I believe the second power you referred to means this, except for being rba. Example: Blue Orb of Dragonkind

    Power (Charm, Implement) ✦ Daily (Standard Action) Ranged 10; Intelligence vs. Will; the target is [effect]. Miss: [effect].

  3. An attack without implement keyword (on an implement), sometimes with a fixes bonus, sometimes with none, that is again never a ranged basic attack. At higher levels they just won't hit, so please always add weapon/implement keyword OR a fixed bonus proper to item level. Example: Seal of the Lawbringer

    Power (Cold) ✦ Encounter (Minor Action) Close blast 3; Constitution + 5 vs. Reflex; 2d6 + Constitution modifier cold damage, and the target is [effect]

  4. A power that allows you to cast a specific attack power, such as a ranged basic attack power. And you just use that power as normal (even if you don't have it). Example: Master's Wand of Magic Missile / Tome of Shadow

    Power ✦ Encounter (Standard Action) As the wizard's magic missile power.


    Power ✦ At-Will (Standard Action) You can use ray of enfeeblement (wizard 1).

  5. Have a complete power written in the item. Although the item powers are quite varied, I still haven't found any that is itself a basic attack. Example: The Shadowstaff / Arms of War

    ➶ Attack Power (Implement, Necrotic) ✦ Encounter (Standard Action)
    Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature in range); Intelligence or Charisma vs. Fortitude.
    Hit: 3d8 + Intelligence or Charisma modifier necrotic damage necrotic damage, and [effect].
    Miss: Half damage.


    You gain the ally's opportunity power, described below.
    Ally's Opportunity
    [flavour text]
    Daily
    Free Action ✦ Close burst 5
    Trigger: [trigger]
    Target: [target]
    Effect: The target makes a ranged basic attack against the target of your opportunity attack as a free action.

These are the most common types. Apparently, either you make your own basic attack and the item power modify it, or the item provides an attack power that is not basic attack.

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