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I came up with the idea for a weapon for my Hexblade Warlock and I was wondering if it is balanced. as I look at it now it seems a bit under-powered and I would use it mostly for flavor.

My reasoning behind most features are:

  1. The Hexblade Warlock can already summon any weapon they want.
  2. With the Dual Wielder feat you can already get 2 normal weapons drawn using a single action.
  3. An alternative to 2 magic weapons is a pact weapon and Shadow Blade which costs 1 spell slot, 1 action, and 1 bonus action, so that is about the same (although it does require level 3).
  4. The limitation on summoning other weapons is mostly flavor.

I was wondering what you think of it and if there are any changes that you would make to it to make it play better/be more balanced.

Shift weapon (attunement, rare)

One of 4 forms chosen when summoned

  • Warhammer (1d8 B)
  • Battle axe (1d8 S)
  • Longsword (1d8 S)
  • Trident (1d6 P , only usable with improved pact weapon)

Only usable as pact weapon. When not used as a pact weapon, it looks like a slimy lump of metal that keeps changing its form.

If you have the Dual Wielder feat you can expend a Warlock spell slot to use a bonus action on the turn of summoning to turn it into 2 smaller weapons that can't be combined without a second cast.

  • Warhammer turns into 2 maces (2x 1d6 B)
  • Battleaxe turns into 2 handaxes (2x 1d6 S)
  • Longsword turns into 2 shortswords (2x 1d6 P)
  • Trident turns into 2 spears (2x 1d6 P)

If you have the Great Weapon Master feat you can upgrade the weapon when summoning it

  • Warhammer turns into a maul (2d6 B)
  • Battleaxe turns into a greataxe (1d12 S)
  • Longsword turns into greatsword (2d6 B)
  • Trident turns into a Halberd (1d12 P)

If you use this weapon you can't summon any other weapon than this with your Summon Pact Weapon until you finish a long rest.

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closed as too broad by Joshua Aslan Smith, Jamie Brace, Pyrotechnical, A_S00, Szega Aug 6 '18 at 16:30

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Generally "Is this balanced?" and "How can Improve the balance of X feature?" homebrew questions are a bad fit for our site. If you can specifically define a balance criteria (Does this damage scale with Class Y and Z?" then we can actually weigh in effectively. As-is this is a bit too open-ended and would probably be better suited to a homebrew forum or maybe a chatroom discussion. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Aug 6 '18 at 14:29
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No, it's a bit weak and too specific

Balance-wise, it's a fairly bland weapon that does some mildly interesting stuff, but requires a great deal of investment without a lot of gain. In the end, you get a weapon that someone else could have just bought. The Dual Wielder feat lets you pull out two weapons, so there's not much difference between using this item compared to just buying a few weapons to swap to.

But strength set aside, that's not my biggest gripe about the item. It's way too specific.

To summon any kind of weapon, you have to have a Pact of a Blade. To utilize these melee weapons, you almost have to be a Hexblade Warlock.

If you take each class and subclass and subsubclass with equal chance, there is an 8% chance someone is playing a warlock, a 33% chance they have a pact weapon, and a 17% chance they are playing a Hexblade. That is a 0.45% chance someone is able to just use this item, without even considering feats, a 1 in 200 chance!

Consider this against the Staff of Defense that has the same rarety, which gives +1 AC to the wielder, and the ability to cast Shield and Mage Armor from the staff if it's in your spell list. Even if you're just holding it, it still provides a benefit. It's still specific while still being able to benefit at least one person in any party. But your item is specific to only you.

Suggestion

I would recommend providing benefit to anyone, but in ways that help you the most. Something like this:

This purple-gray blob can shape itself into any standard weapon once you attune to it.

Attunement takes an hour of holding and molding in your hands, as you shape it into various points, discs and shafts.

Once it's attuned, it can change its shape to the weapon of your choice as a bonus action.

When you change the weapon's shape, you may spend a spell slot to split off a mirror copy of it in your other hand. It lasts for a number of minutes equal to the spell slot spent. Copies retain their original shape if the primary item changes.
The owner of the item can magically swap the original with a copy without using an action, as long as he's holding one of the weapons he's swapping.

Ammunition can be fired from the weapon. It magically appears, and disappears once it strikes something.

Ammunition or copies of the main weapon are translucent in appearance, and can be dispelled by magic or at will by the owner.
The primary weapon is considered a magical weapon for the sake of resistances, but ammunition and copies of it are not.

This is something I would provide for a group, but they would decide who could best use it. Its strength scales slightly with the slot spent (good for warlocks) and allows you to use different tactics for playing. This makes it quite a bit stronger, but still well within strength levels of the game, since the only strength it provides is:

  • The ability to (inefficiently) equip an ally
  • The ability to change into any weapon
  • The ability to fire unlimited ammunition.

But none of these are game breaking. Everyone should have their own weapon, of their choice, and should be loaded on ammunition anyway. This concept doesn't provide much more than what most adventurers should be able to already do, but it's still pretty cool, and very flavorful for your warlock. It still effectively does everything that you wanted to do, but more, and I'd still say it's a little underpowered.

If you wanted to make it a little more powerful, you could add on something that allowed you to make it a +1 weapon at the cost of spell slots or something, but I think this works as-is.

You could do some gimmicks like making a spear and a copy, throw the primary spear for magic damage and it gets lodged into the monster, turn the copy in your hand into the primary and have the copy stay in the monster, have your fighter use the spear to climb up on something as you change the primary weapon in your hand to a maul to take down a skeleton, etc. But even then, what did you gain strength-wise? A magical spear throw for the cost of 2 bonus actions and a spell slot.

Really cool, but actually fairly mundane numbers-wise.

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It's probably a bit too weak for Rare

As an uncommon magic item it would be comparable to a bag of holding (which could hold all of those weapons) with the trade off of:

Pros:

  • weapon that counts as magic for the purposes of a resistances or immunities

  • bonus action to split into two weapons (will come up rarely)

Con:

  • only the weapons

Accessibility problem

Magic items should be applicable to multiple types of characters, but this item only works for a Pact of the Blade Warlock and only if that character needs to switch weapons often. This is too narrow a use when compared to other magic items.

I would consider creating a homebrew Eldritch Invocation instead which does a similar thing. This means that it makes sense for only one type of character to use it. Here is an example of what you could do:

Echo Blade

Prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of the Blade feature

If you are holding a pact weapon you created that has the Versatile or Two-Handed property and you have a hand free, you can use some of its essence to create another. As a bonus action, you can expend one of the spell slots from your Pact Magic feature. If you expend a slot in this way, your pact weapon changes to a different form of your choice that lacks the Versatile or Two-Handed property and shares a damage type with its current form. Then, a copy of the pact weapon appears in your free hand. This new weapon is treated like your pact weapon in every way except that it disappears if it leaves your hand.

Note: I have not done a proper balance analysis with this concept, nor do I have any experience using it in game. It is just an example of how an Invocation might read that shares one of the aspects of your magic item

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't an Invocation more valuable than a magic item? Why would someone take an invocation doing something that you just said is not worth a rare item to do? Also, have you had any experience with doing this homebrewed invocation at your table? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 6 '18 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Magic items an Invocations have different places in the game. There are invocations that are better than rare magic items and Invocations that are much much worse (in most cases). Invocations are designed to give the Warlock something new they couldn't do before. This one let's them make a second pact blade. I don't have experience with it (I'll make a note) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Aug 6 '18 at 16:41

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