29
\$\begingroup\$

I am in a few campaigns, one of them has a DM who's never been a Dungeon Master before. Their grasp of the rules and how the game is played is sound but they are a bit of a pushover when it comes to letting players get what they want.

A large majority of the players have asked for special weapons that they thought were cool such as:

  • A barbarian with a Flametongue and a Sword of Frost

  • A bard with a bagpipe that, when it hits a target, deals 3d6 damage

  • A fighter with a Bogsword (homebrew item) with 2d8 damage, and 1d6 acid damage to the target for three rounds; the damage adds up if multiple attacks hit

  • A cleric with a staff of Bonking (also homebrew) that deals 2d6 bludgeoning damage and 1d8 radiant damage

  • A warforged artificer that has a 'fantasy rocket launcher' that deals 4d8 damage in a 120-ft. radius, with a DC 14 Dex save for half damage.

All of these weapons are great and all but we are at sixth level.

The DM has noticed that any monster they try to throw at the party gets killed in less than one round and wants to change this. The players have had these weapons for quite a while, and the DM thinks it would be unfair to just get rid of their weapons with the sole reasoning behind it being "because I said so".

They're thinking about replacing their weapons with ones that are suited for their level, but the issue is this: They're all pretty attached to their weapons.

How can the DM fix this OP weapon problem, and how can they best do so without making all of the players mad?

\$\endgroup\$

12 Answers 12

48
\$\begingroup\$

By discussing it with their players

"Hey guys, I messed up. I gave you all weapons that are more suited for level 15+ characters, and as a result, you're oneshotting every level appropriate encounter I can throw at you. If we want to keep playing the game as it's intended to, I'm going to have to remove the overpowered weapons I gave you when I didn't know any better and replace them with items that make more sense for your power level, else I can't guarantee a good gaming experience."

If the players refuse because they want to keep their overpowered weapons, tell them you're not enjoying the game and tell them to find somebody else to DM for them and simply start a new game with all the experience you've learned from your previous campaign.

Nobody's first time DMing is the best time ever, but don't feel trapped in a campaign because a bunch of spoiled players refuse to give up their toys.

New DMs most likely don't have the knowledge to make balanced homebrew weapons

Several of these homebrew items are absurd at all levels. Take, for instance, the Bogsword. An extra 2d8 damage is already insane, but it has a component that stacks with itself for insane amounts of damage per turn.

A level 5 fighter with this weapon can attack twice, then action surge to do it again and, depending on what kind of weapon it is, might be able to attack an additional time with a bonus action. Even if we assume they don't get a bonus action, this means that the first round, they've stacked 4d6 acid damage on the enemy.

The next round, they attack twice. The creature has taken 4d6 acid damage already, and now they've been stacked up to 6d6 acid damage. I don't even know how you're ruling the duration in terms of stacking, but at the very least they can take 8d6 acid damage in a round before their duration runs out. This is insane for a bonus effect ontop of an item that already does more damage than what can reasonably be expected from a Very Rare of even Legendary item, because nothing is going to resist that 2d8 magical slashing damage either.

Balance within the party is messed up

I see quite a few suggestions that suggest simply increasing the HP of the enemies the DM is throwing at the players. That works to fix the problem of enemies dying before they even get a single round, but that'll only make the fact that these items are not evenly balanced all the more obvious.

The Barbarian is rocking reasonably balanced items, albeit balanced for a higher level than he currently is. Contrast this with the Bogsword and the Rocket Launcher and simply raising the HP of all the enemies will make it so the Barbarian can't contribute nearly as well as the Fighter or the Artificer.

My suggestion

These players are level 6. Do away with the all the homebrew items and let all the players pick a single Rare quality magic weapon. This is already a lot stronger than what you can usually expect to be wielding at level 6 in most campaigns, having a +2 weapon for example at this level is absurdly powerful, but at least it won't completely break the game like these homebrew items. Realistically, they'd be rocking a +1 weapon at this point, if they're lucky.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was about to suggest that the DM could increase the difficultly of the encounters (more enemies, higher CR enemies, etc), but on the other hand, that might not be the best approach for a first time DM, as they may overshoot and end up dishing out deadly encounters that end in TPKs. Hence I think this is the best route; talk with the players and admit the earlier bad judgement calls. Maybe they can eventually have them back again (possibly nerfed regarding the homebrew items), when they are higher level and owning such items isn't such an issue, although that's up to the DM again. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jan 9 at 14:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS I think that a TPK for this party is part of the solution. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 9 at 14:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS overshooting would also be a learning experience for the GM. It seems they need to get a better grip on dnd's combat engine anyway \$\endgroup\$ – Pierre Cathé Jan 9 at 14:34
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS I considered that suggestion as well, but it doesn't really help a first time DM to try and balance an unbalanced party. For example, the warforged artificer has essentially a free fireball every turn with their rocket launcher, which is pretty much impossible to balance around. It'll likely lead to drastically overestimating level 6 PC capabilities in the future. Better for a beginning DM to follow the rules as written and try to keep the PCs level-appropriate in their strength. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 9 at 15:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Getting buy-in from players might be aided by discussing how game balance works, and what kind of specific negative effects these weapons create. e.g. imbalance between the players (which buffing enemy HP can't fix). Also, these OP weapons become the only way players can do enough damage to succeed in a challenging encounter (not spells or other attacks), not just a tool but artifact-level power in-world. And if you used monsters tough enough to take the damage, a hit or two from a dragon could easily kill level 6 players on unlucky initiative / attack rolls. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:34
17
\$\begingroup\$

Shift the narrative to fit the needs of fun

If monsters getting stomped quickly are no fun, direct the story in a way that puts the characters in the way of stronger enemies.

Beefier variants

The boon given to the characters makes them special. Use this in the story as a justification for them to go after the stronger or strongest variants of opponents. E.g. Monsters with 2x the HP or whatever multiplier works for you. All other stats held the same, it should increase the survival of the opponents to provide more of a challenge. The narrative could be rewarding as well providing accolades never bestowed upon any other adventurers.

Challenges where magic weapons aren't a win.

Polite duels are places where magic might forfeit the encounter. Another place it might not be useful is when the party wants to defeat the opponent without killing them. Brandishing a magic sword would immediately precipitate the opponent fleeing, and actually using it's ability would kill them.

Deal with it for the time being. Higher levels come quickly with OP characters.

The characters should quickly find themselves into double digit levels with legendary weapons. Hopefully they've made skill and ability choices that facilitate dealing with higher challenge opponents as the magic sword isn't going to deal with all of them.

It would be an interesting story to tell about characters who were propelled to greatness quickly by legendary items, but failed against the world's biggest challenges because their skills and teamwork never matured.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ While the idea of this answer sounds fine, the actual suggestions aren't that useful. Doubling the HP of level appropriate encounters is not going to work when the characters are rocking absurd equipment. That fighter's item even -scales- with their amount of attacks by stacking extra damage over time, and the artificer has essentially a free fireball every turn. Even at higher levels, I doubt this will ever end up being something that balances itself out. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 9 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Theik it worked in a campaign where, through a similar mistake, characters could cast a lot of high level spells per day. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Jan 9 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't doubt that it's worked for you in the past, but looking at these homebrew items, they're still going to kill any level appropriate encounter in a single round if you simply double the HP. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 9 at 15:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik Then triple the HP, or quadruple it, or double the HP and the number of enemies. If the only problem is excessive party damage output, you can always balance it out if you increase the enemy HP enough. \$\endgroup\$ – user56480 Jan 10 at 10:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @user56480 That's a good idea in theory, but in practice, you are shifting the problem around. That barbarian picked two weapons that are vastly inferior to the homebrew nonsense the other players came up with, so that player will quickly feel like he's unable to really dent the HP of enemies if you simply increase the HP. The entire party is entirely unbalanced against one another. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 10 at 10:40
12
\$\begingroup\$

There are a few options.

  • Option 1: No more toys

I would say that the best option is to simply take away the magic items. I know you said that the DM doesn't want to take away the items, but as a DM, he must to learn to say "No" at some point, and this will likely be the healthiest option for the game. Whether it's a Poof! they vanish before the parties very eyes, or they get stolen in the night by a thief, they should be taken away. Those items are far to powerful for players of that level to be using. I personally recommend using the "rumors have spread of the players being in possession of incredibly powerful magic items" and, obviously, someone else is going to want those items. Getting them back isn't out of the question, however, as while they're working on the main quest line, they could pick up hints and rumors about weapons new owners(s). If he's really, truly dead-set on letting the players keep their items, then one more option is to have the magic in the items start to weaken over time, and make it a bit of a side quest that the players need to have them

  • Option 2: The enemies are evolving

The next option is to make everything more difficult to kill, without making them more likely to kill the players. Give creatures additional HP, and stack on resistances. I recommend some minor fiends, perhaps a squad of bearded devils, with bonus HP as they can resist most of that elemental damage, but not the base weapons damage. Alternatively, bring in an rival party, who are sort of reverses of the players, and instead of having weapons that are incredibly OP, they have armor that make it incredibly difficult for the PCs to harm them. Of course, if the PCs get close to killing them, they flee (to prevent the players from getting additional OP items). This one I don't particularly recommend, since you said that the DM is rather inexperienced.

  • Option 3: Pits and darts and boulders, oh my!

Non-combat encounters are likely to be more challenging, since the players only have enhanced attack power, not problem solving power. Lets say they're raiding an abandoned temple. The temple is full of traps, like spike pits, swinging blades, and flood rooms, and puzzles but there are basically no creatures that are worth fighting, maybe a giant rat or two, something that's not big enough to set off pressure plates, and nimble enough to climb over/out of pits and the like. Obviously, their weapons aren't going to do them much good against things that can't be fought.

  • Option 4: I roll to seduce the armchair

The other form on non-combat encounter: the dreaded... Social Challenge! *there is a crack of thunder, gasps are heard, the crowd murmurs, a soft scream is heard as one woman faints, a Dun, dun, DUNNNN can be heard in the distance*. Yes, you heard right, your +2 Sword of Exterminating will grant you no power here! Perhaps the players need the aid of one of the local lords, or perhaps they're trying to get something out of an informant. Either way, their weapons aren't going to help them out much, because they need the person that they're trying to influence alive and friendly in order to get to the next step of the adventure. The utilization of Skill Challenged is likely to be useful for this option.

Last, and probably most importantly, both of those homebrew weapons are busted above and beyond the other magic weapons. The sword should be nerfed down to 2d6 (a regular greatsword) damage, plus 1d4 acid that lasts indefinitely but does not stack and allows a DC14 Con save at the end of the creatures turn to end. The staff should only deal 1d8 + 1d6 Radiant. This, and I can't stress this enough, needs to be done regardless of what other changes (if any) the DM makes. These two weapons are simply to powerful to be allowed in the game, especially that sword. Also, I assume that with the "rocket launcher" is has a 120' range not 120' radius. I also assume it runs on charges, because if it doesn't that needs to be adjusted as well, to something along the lines of 7/day, with 1d6+1 back every morning, and if the last charge is used, roll 1d20 and if you get a 1 it crumbles to dust, as per usual for magic wand equivalents.

\$\endgroup\$
10
\$\begingroup\$

The Practical Solution

Treat magic items as giving your players +1 or +2 effective levels, and be careful about shunting in monsters who deal too much damage too quickly. Offensive items make PCs deal more damage, but they can't take more.

So, if you're level 6 with really potent magic items, treat your party as if they were Level 8 instead for the purpose of building encounters.

Magic items are not accounted for when calculating CR, so make the appropriate adjustments. I do this and it works just fine.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Alternately: make sure the players know that they need to be careful about monsters who deal too much damage too quickly. \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Jan 10 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Well, a) that assumes that the PCs don't misinterpret the situation, and b)if you're playing monsters intelligently, that may not even matter and c) some monsters will just insta-TPK your party regardless. A Sea Hag coven is a "Hard" encounter for a L8 party of 4 and an "Deadly" one for L6. Played intelligently, the Sea Hag coven is an auto-TPK for that L6 party unless the party somehow manages to disable the coven powers before they act. Otherwise: Lightning bolt x3 for 11d6+10d6+10d6 aoe damage and a TPK on Turn 1. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jan 10 at 18:58
8
\$\begingroup\$

The players do about 2.5x more damage; give all the monsters 2.5x their normal hit points

The players can do lots of damage (which is fun) but the monsters last about the same number of rounds (3-5 is good for a satisfying combat) and they are not doing any more damage to the PCs as higher CR monsters would. If you double the damage and double hit points you have changed nothing it the way the game plays.

This will tend to nerf damaging spells but you don't have any wizards or sorcerers who would really be affected by this.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This directly addresses the problem. Players deal too much damage, so increase monster HP. Having them lose or nerf their weapons would suck and is not fun. The players clearly like combat so reducing combat is not fun. \$\endgroup\$ – pllpnakjlx Jan 10 at 3:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The rocket launcher isn't just more damage, it's a 120' AoE which is that character's only way to keep up on damage per round. Hard to use without hitting friendlies if enemies live more than 1 round and the melee characters get in toe to toe. And given how much of a glass cannon the PCs are with that damage output at lvl6, that's a big problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes 240 feet end-to-end. 45,000 foot area. That's half the size of a football field. I can only hope the DM confused "radius" with "diameter" when he gave that out. Still inexcusable, but... \$\endgroup\$ – Michael W. Jan 10 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelW.: yeah, on a battlefield that could decimate entire armies (of common soldiers ~= lvl1 I think) in a few minutes, a few platoons at a time. Depending on range, and if there's nothing stopping you from firing every round, it's like god-mode for defending a city / fort from an army trying to scale the walls. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 17:17
7
\$\begingroup\$

This is what we used to call 'Monty Hall' problem back in AD&D. If you take away the cool stuff, players will get bitter. Kill them all they will get really upset, but chances are a compete restart might be the thing. The DM and perhaps the players have to ask themselves a few questions starting with do they like their characters or the stuff their characters have? Have you learned your lesson for next campaign? (most specifically that anything 'homebrew' should at least be based on items that already exist and are not clearly better than those things). Change stuff to give it character not to be cooler.

There are little measures you can do like (other than the stealing and gunslinger suggestions you already have):

Githyanki solution: who owned this before? Power weapons come from powerful sources and they often want their stuff back. This can be a way to retrieve one or two items at most, but can also serve as a way to keep items unused except when most needed.

Stormbringer solution: Overpowered things might get their power from means that are dangerous and morally questionable. Has the potential to create interesting stories, but 5 items are not going to be 'cursed' or otherworldly.

The 'Close to Me' solution: Run a few modules / runs in dungeons, caves, buildings with few outdoors. Rarely let the party be further away than 120' from the fireball target. Remember if the fight is in a 40x40' room even the rooms next door are filled with fireball and the party will soon get sick for rolling saves to hope for 4d8/2 every combat round. And rolling saving throws for all their gear including overpowered items. Be warned that tempers may flair if the Bogsword becomes Bogslag because you have only started to pay attention to radius effects.

Breakage: We used to that a critical failure force a break roll. Second critical failure and you have a tartan coloured sack of nothing instead of an instrument and swords are better designed for smashing into things.

Finally:
Duty / Ambition: At some point fairly soon this campaign will be clearly no fun to all, and if you are younger players everyone will be happier if there is not a TPK or forced solutions. Party gets levels like water and soon enough are Kings, Chiefs, High Priests, etc. with no time for adventuring. Full marks if you can turn these PCs in NPCs that inhabit your world. Give your players a sense of pride that their former ultracool amazeballs characters are still out there, maybe occasionally being interacted with and can be talked about at particularly bad parties.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ if the Bogsword because Bogslag because ?? I think you didn't finish editing something there. Also, I don't remember 5e having rules for Fireball damaging items that are worn or carried. Yes the huge 120' AoE is a problem in closed spaces, and at all if melee want to do anything, but it's not going to break your gear. (Hitting exactly 115' behind the enemies so the edge only blasts the enemies, not friendlies, is a very tough shot even if there's room for it.) \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry that was modifying the 'And rolling saving throws for all their gear including overpowered items. ' comment. I did specify the AD&D experience as I don't know if in 5e Fireball damage is just to living things (would seem odd though) \$\endgroup\$ – Herne Jan 10 at 14:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Fireball#content It ignites flammable Objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried. so it's that it only damages creatures. It's that it doesn't damage items/equipment carried by creatures, probably because randomly having your nice items destroyed wasn't fun, if that was possible in earlier editions. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, did you mean "becomes" instead of "because"? Then that sentence makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It's Monty Haul, not Monty Hall. It's a play on words. As in a "big haul." \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Grant Jan 10 at 20:54
2
\$\begingroup\$

Nerf the weapons

Treat the cause, not the symptoms, by making the weapons not-overpowered-anymore. The weapons should deal less damage, have smaller areas of effect, and in some cases, should have limited uses per day.

Explain Why

Explain to the players the actual problem here: Monsters of level-appropriate challenge ratings don't pose an interest, and will become boring. Monsters of high challenge ratings deal too much damage and could kill the party when the dice inevitably behave poorly.

Don't tromp on the shared storytelling

The players seem to love their special items, so reducing the item's damage expressions will probably be more amenable to them than taking them away.

Scaling Weapons

You might soothe the sting of this by letting the damage expressions of the weapons climb again, based on PC level. You don't see a lot of this in the D&D rules, but if a player would rather keep their custom weapon, instead of trading up, this is a good way to do it.

If doing this, then slightly reduce the number of new magic items the party finds. The existing items sort-of become new items, whenever they increase in power.

Work with the party to determine the in-game "reasons" (if any)

Find out if the players would like The Nerfing to have an in-game cause, or if they're OK with this being just a mechanical tweak. An angry god-of-magic, or some magic-sucking curse, could be fine campaign concepts.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is what I was planning to suggest. Give them the information on the scale so they know how much they will get better each level, the same as they know their character progression. Other people have said that some of these weapons are far more unbalanced than others so this system should allow some to reach full power sooner than others. In some ways this is better from a story point of view, instead of the usual one where a treasured item gets discarded as soon as something with a higher plus comes along. I think reasonable people will have no issues with this. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Nolan Jan 11 at 17:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The hard part will be making sure the new scaling versions aren't also unbalanced. You don't want to have another conversation where you tell them you need to nerf their stuff again. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Nolan Jan 11 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The weapons should deal less damage. And not have a 120' radius AoE. Even 1 HP per round (save for 0) could be a game-changer in siege (attack or defense) and other army situations. Or hordes of other low-HP creatures like undead. It would still be a powerful artifact sought-after by generals if it can AoE 1/round all day every day. If someone's hiding in an area, you can use the rocket launcher to flush them out. But yes, +1, get buy-in from players after explaining the balance problem and that as a novice DM you made a mistake. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 12 at 0:06
1
\$\begingroup\$

There are plenty of ways to take away toys from players.

  1. theft, this one is just simple, magic items are valuable, roll a stealth check against their passive perception, when they wake up one weapon is just gone. this is even more useful if you need them to go somewhere, let them find a trail and the payers will go ANYWHERE you lead them. great for leading into the other situations.

    I did this then had the players arrested for murdering an entire thieves guild, it is not self defense after all, now you can confiscate their weapons and make an adventure out of escaping during transport to prison, now they have nothing (why would they send the gear to the prison), are outlaws, and have no idea where their stuff is. Great way to start a survival based adventure.

  2. Guath, which eat magic items, the more powerful the better, better yet they can neutralize other weapons as well. combines well with theft, the thieves bring magic items to be eaten just to keep it from killing them.

  3. The party gets arrested, captured, or enters a place where they must surrender their weapons, now you can give them back when they are closer to the right level.

  4. You can also send enemies that aren't bothered by direct damage or are very hard to attack, swarms, or things that attack from under the ground of from high in the air. You can homebrew a creature, there was a monster from 3e called an arcane ooze that fed off magic and could only be harmed by mundane weapons, magic weapons just made it stronger, often creating more of them.

  5. Send enemies that possess or mind control players, now those high damage weapons are attacking them.

  6. Drop a deck of many things on them and get ready to start a new campaign.

  7. Also take the focus from combat combat and more on other aspects of RP. In a murder mystery or in depth political intrigue those magic weapons are all but useless.

In the future just becasue players want something does not mean you have to give it to them, or if that is too hard you can give them a weakened version with the possibility to power it up later with some event in the story. I had a barbarian who wanted a very powerful hammer and they got a hammer that does an extra 1d4 fire damage, until it is attuned which requires holding it fully immersed molten lava for a minute. At which point it does 1d8 fire damage and can cast heat metal or lava burst against targets it strikes. Now first they aren't anywhere near a volcano, and lava does 10d10 fire damage a round (10 rounds in a minute) so a low level player is almost certain to die if they try it. If you can't say no, say not right now, but when you earn it. Besides what is going to be more memorable the OP hammer they found in a random tomb, of the badass hammer they had to climb an active volcano, fight a dragon, and plunge into molten lava, there skin sizzling like overcooked bacon, to wield.

The player wants a holy avenger, they get a sulled avenger that does 1d6 radiant damage and can shed light, until it is redeemed by slaying a lich or until the wielder prefromes an absurd religious penance on its behalf that takes weeks at a special shrine, now getting what they want is a guest in and of itself. Or perhaps they hear a rumor of a marvelous sword at the bottom of a specific dangerous lake, again getting the weapon becomes a quest. Weapons that progress are great ways to give really cool weapons gradually and memorably.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just make their weapons artifacts that needed to seal a BBEG. They are really powerful to be called artifacts. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Jan 10 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added a space in front of one of your paragraphs so that it lined up with the paragraph above. I assume this is how you intended it to look? I only recently learned myself that's how to keep indented stuff lined up... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jan 10 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ possess or mind control players, now those high damage weapons are attacking them. And then the imbalance between damage output and HP total becomes a huge problem, with the party being much more lethal to each other than the balance / design of mind-control effects was designed for. (And not fixable by buffing enemy HP but not damage the way some people suggest.) The players are massive glass cannons. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes but it makes it a lot easier to explain they are overpowered. besides you say that like it is a problem, these players THINK they don't want a balanced game, prove them wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – John Jan 10 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @John: Yes, that's something you'd bring up as part of getting the players to buy in to Theik's answer. But you can do it as a thought experiment without actually springing it on them in-game and having a big risk of someone fully dying (e.g. from the acid damage-over-time causing extra failed death saves) \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 10 at 14:59
0
\$\begingroup\$

In my opinion there's a good way to deal with this situation.

What you think powerful villains and mercenaries would do if they find out that there are a bunch of weak people with powerful weapons?

They would steal, of course!

But then you think: ok, but the players will get angry and drop the game. Sure.

But you can make them trace the thieves and conquer the weapons that one day they had. It would be pretty cool.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you implemented this kind of suggestion in your own games, or seen it implemented? How has it worked in solving this problem? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 11 at 22:38
0
\$\begingroup\$

How can a new DM deal with having given out overpowered weapons at a low level?

Here are three ways:

  1. When you are running a high fantasy campaign, it can be very tough. This is where I've turned to the DMG and Monster Manual for guidance. The DMG allows you to adjust the Challenge Ratings of monsters for the creation of new monsters. They do suggest a level lower than the actual players. However, if the players have boosted levels higher do to the magic items, you can boost the monsters to bring some balance to the game. --> Doing this is not enjoyable. It's a lot of work.

    If their power level exceeds their damage output, AC, and HP for those levels, you can increase CR of the monsters. In 5th edition, you can create your own bodywork by creating a monster pg 273-- A winged Orc for example that has different attributes than the average Orc. Increasing the CR, or by adding different traits to the monsters, can help with balance.

  2. You become very particular about items and magical items > rare, will be harder to find for some time, sticking to only uncommon items as treasure rewards, or rewarding the team in other ways, that builds their fame up throughout the lands. You play to the character egos. -- Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not, it just depends on if you have power gamers or roleplayers. -- Sounds like he has done this.

  3. And lastly, you can throw the question back at the table. -- These weapons actually fall under very rare and we are level 6. I would like to get them to be rare to bring balance to the game because I'm not having fun. How would you like to handle it? Most reasonable groups will understand the issue and will come up with ideas on how to fix it. They will enjoy being part of the decision making. However, every once in awhile there is one that disagrees, and on that disagreement, you should stress that you are not having fun with the game.

In your case, if your DM is having fun with the current scenario, then I would say there is nothing that can be done. If you are not having fun because of it, then you should walk away from the campaign.

In the end, D&D is really about having fun with your friends - that is the rule that matters, and should not be broken, or have caveats.

Good luck!

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

Smells Like an Adventure Hook Brewing

This instantly made me think of the first level in almost every videogame from the early 2000s: you start off with all your gear, then something happens and you lose it. You spend the rest of the game trying to get your stuff back.

Depending on how off-track your DM is willing to go, this could either be an overarching goal where you get your weapons back at an appropriate level. Or maybe it is just a one-session side quest, but by the time you rescue your weapons they have already been drained of some of their power (-1d6 damage each).

This essentially falls under the category of taking the weapons away "because I said so," but it preserves the immersion and player agency a lot better.

\$\endgroup\$
-2
\$\begingroup\$
  1. Put together a poll vote with the best solutions. If the weapon is hated for being very overpowered, removing it would obviously fix the problem. (Removing a cool weapon you have spent time on is simple but "steals" a brick from the final work.)

  2. On the other hand, if the weapon is wanted by most, add a new item for those most vulnerable to it, but instead of making another weapon sometimes a potion, elixir, or other limited-use consumable can even out the total damage.

  3. Combind the advice less overall output damage from players vs monsters with a chance to deal critical damage. Faster weapons, with lower damage should have higher critchance. From 10% to 20%.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. StackExchange is a Q&A site, not a typical forum; all answers should directly answer the question, and be supported by citing evidence/experience. It's not clear what exactly your answer is recommending OP do to solve the issue, or how they should go about it. Can you elaborate on your recommendations a bit? (Also, rather than phrasing your recommendations as questions, you should instead phrase them as statements - i.e. "do this", not "could you do this?" - and support those ideas.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 10 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you for helpful feedback. \$\endgroup\$ – Stian Diehard Jan 10 at 2:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ hope this was more "forward" and less "asking" \$\endgroup\$ – Stian Diehard Jan 10 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ That does make the recommendations themselves a lot clearer. Have you tried these recommendations or similar ones, or seen them tried by others? How has it worked? Has it been effective in solving this kind of issue? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 10 at 3:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have alot of experience playing games that required as much ballance possible. I have no Idea why my mac´s autocorrection is not working therefore I understand my type errors can be very anoing. I am trying to fix that. \$\endgroup\$ – Stian Diehard Jan 10 at 3:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.