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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
776 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2022 :  21:10:26  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Scribes,
Is there a particular reason to have Exotic Weapon Proficiency: shuriken as a requirement to enter the prestige class?
If it is merely a feat tax, I wonder why it was not another dramatic or item creation feat.
Any comments would be appreciated.

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4368 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2022 :  21:56:03  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Scribes,
Is there a particular reason to have Exotic Weapon Proficiency: shuriken as a requirement to enter the prestige class?
If it is merely a feat tax, I wonder why it was not another dramatic or item creation feat.
Any comments would be appreciated.



From a flavor standpoint, it makes sense because Dweomerkeepers are essentially specialty priests of Mystra, so to have proficiency in her favored weapon hammers home their devotion.

From a mechanical standpoint, it's a throwaway feat tax simply because someone thought it brought a sense of balance to a LARGELY known overpowered/broken Prestige Class. It's one of the core basics for the "Cheater of Mystra" Character Optimization build. What's one feat when you can get Wish at 13th level 1/day?
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1471 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  03:58:36  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mystra's favored weapons being shurikens always irritated me. I know that mechanically shurikens are meant to represent Mystra hurling starlike bolts of raw magical power, but that doesn't mean I can get rid of the mental image of the goddess of magic being a weaboo and peppering her sentences with Wa-an words.

"Bane no baka!"
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36587 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  05:36:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Mystra's favored weapons being shurikens always irritated me. I know that mechanically shurikens are meant to represent Mystra hurling starlike bolts of raw magical power, but that doesn't mean I can get rid of the mental image of the goddess of magic being a weaboo and peppering her sentences with Wa-an words.

"Bane no baka!"



Would it help to picture Storm dressed as a shrine maiden?

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7797 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  06:23:24  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Would it help to picture Storm dressed as a shrine maiden?

It would probably be better than dressing up Azuth as a shrine maiden.

That being said - and moving on (quickly!) - I have to agree that shuriken don't seem to fit well. They lack the usual appropriately generic pseudo-euro-medieval flavour. And physical training in exotic weapons seems like a strange requirement to worship a deity representing pure magic.

If anything, shuriken are functionally more similar to thrown darts and daggers than to magical energy bolts. Especially given that they are largely ineffective for more than intimidation unless coated with poison.
Mask or Cyric seem like the sorts of deities who might favour such weapons.

Or maybe I'm just disinterested in seeing the Realms turn into anime/manga.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with anime/manga - though I admit most of it isn't to my taste. But I am saying that sometimes combining genres and mixing flavours just ruins a good thing (or two) - and I think this is one of those times.

Evidently some random weeaboo game designer at WotC has different ideas, tastes, and opinions than I do about this topic.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 23 Oct 2022 09:03:02
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2420 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  11:47:27  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Use the 2nd Edition version :) Way better.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6559 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2022 :  00:21:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Mystra's favored weapons being shurikens always irritated me. I know that mechanically shurikens are meant to represent Mystra hurling starlike bolts of raw magical power, but that doesn't mean I can get rid of the mental image of the goddess of magic being a weaboo and peppering her sentences with Wa-an words.

"Bane no baka!"



If they had never been described as shuriken and instead been called "razorstars", I've guessing you wouldn't have an issue with it. It's the imagery you are creating in your own head based on RW knowledge that's the issue, not anything to do with the weapon of choice for Mystra's clergy.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1471 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2022 :  04:35:26  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Mystra's favored weapons being shurikens always irritated me. I know that mechanically shurikens are meant to represent Mystra hurling starlike bolts of raw magical power, but that doesn't mean I can get rid of the mental image of the goddess of magic being a weaboo and peppering her sentences with Wa-an words.

"Bane no baka!"



Would it help to picture Storm dressed as a shrine maiden?



Ara-ara Alustriel.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36587 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2022 :  23:02:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos


If they had never been described as shuriken and instead been called "razorstars", I've guessing you wouldn't have an issue with it. It's the imagery you are creating in your own head based on RW knowledge that's the issue, not anything to do with the weapon of choice for Mystra's clergy.

-- George Krashos



I think the use would also be important. If they called them "razorstars" but they were still thrown, star-shaped blades, then the shuriken comparison would still come to mind -- anime and popular culture have forever embedded the throwing star in the collective conscious as a ninja weapon. (I've heard that they actually weren't thrown all that oft, but I'll never claim to be an expert, there)

Any kind of star-shaped weapon is going to be noticeably beyond the expected range of pseudo-medieval Western Europe-type stuff. Sure, nothing in Ed's Realms was a real-world translation, but I wouldn't expect any kind of star-shaped weapon in most fantasy settings, unless they specifically imitate/adapt stuff from Asia.

I get the thematic appeal of star-shaped weapons for a goddess who digs stars, but it's not the direction I would have chosen. Simple darts would have been a better choice, thinks I -- it still could (kinda-sorta) bring things like magic missile to mind, but it's more of a "local" weapon and something fairly easy for a non-martial type to get the hang of.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11426 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2022 :  23:00:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos


If they had never been described as shuriken and instead been called "razorstars", I've guessing you wouldn't have an issue with it. It's the imagery you are creating in your own head based on RW knowledge that's the issue, not anything to do with the weapon of choice for Mystra's clergy.

-- George Krashos



I think the use would also be important. If they called them "razorstars" but they were still thrown, star-shaped blades, then the shuriken comparison would still come to mind -- anime and popular culture have forever embedded the throwing star in the collective conscious as a ninja weapon. (I've heard that they actually weren't thrown all that oft, but I'll never claim to be an expert, there)

Any kind of star-shaped weapon is going to be noticeably beyond the expected range of pseudo-medieval Western Europe-type stuff. Sure, nothing in Ed's Realms was a real-world translation, but I wouldn't expect any kind of star-shaped weapon in most fantasy settings, unless they specifically imitate/adapt stuff from Asia.

I get the thematic appeal of star-shaped weapons for a goddess who digs stars, but it's not the direction I would have chosen. Simple darts would have been a better choice, thinks I -- it still could (kinda-sorta) bring things like magic missile to mind, but it's more of a "local" weapon and something fairly easy for a non-martial type to get the hang of.



Yeah, my first thought was throwing knives shaped like lightning bolts. But I do totally get the "8 pointed star of mystra" shape perfectly fitting the idea of throwing stars as well. I actually picture her priesthood creating throwing stars that are single use magic items that release a magic missile, firebolt, or lightning bolt effect when hurled (like a javelin of lightning).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4368 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2022 :  23:48:44  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

anime and popular culture have forever embedded the throwing star in the collective conscious as a ninja weapon. (I've heard that they actually weren't thrown all that oft, but I'll never claim to be an expert, there)



If I remember correctly, I believe they were used primarily as a means to deliver toxic materials such as venom into an individual. According to Slate.com, shuriken were typically used not to kill but, rather, as a delaying tactic and a primary defensive weapons of Japanese Ninja.

According to Wiki (not the best of sources, I know) Shuriken, especially hira-shuriken, were also used in novel ways they could be embedded in the ground, injuring those who stepped on them (similar to a caltrop), wrapped in a fuse to be lit and thrown to cause fire, or wrapped in a cloth soaked in poison and lit to cover an area with a cloud of poisonous smoke. They could also be used as a handheld weapon in close combat.

More info on poison: reports of shuriken being coated with poison, intended either as a throwing weapon or to be left in a conspicuous place for a victim to pick up. Others indicate that shuriken may have been buried in dirt or animal feces and allowed to harbor the bacterium Clostridium tetani if the point penetrated a victim deeply enough, the bacteria transferred into the wound could cause a then-incurable tetanus infection.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36587 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2022 :  04:54:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I saw a video recently where someone who certainly seemed to know a lot more than I spoke at length on shuriken and kunai. He said the same thing about shuriken: the bo-shuriken were often thrown, while the hira-shuriken (the classic "throwing stars") were more oft hand-held, close combat weapons.

I know that violates a lot of what anime shows us, but I've seen far fewer people flying through the air and/or sporting gravity-defying breasts, in the real world, than what I've seen in anime (I used to refer to the latter as "AGB" -- "anti-gravity boobs").

So I'm willing to conclude that while I am not an expert and can barely be described as being informed on the topic of shuriken, it's also safe to say that anime may not be the most reliable source of information on a LOT of different topics.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 26 Oct 2022 04:55:31
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11426 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2022 :  12:26:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

anime and popular culture have forever embedded the throwing star in the collective conscious as a ninja weapon. (I've heard that they actually weren't thrown all that oft, but I'll never claim to be an expert, there)



If I remember correctly, I believe they were used primarily as a means to deliver toxic materials such as venom into an individual. According to Slate.com, shuriken were typically used not to kill but, rather, as a delaying tactic and a primary defensive weapons of Japanese Ninja.

According to Wiki (not the best of sources, I know) Shuriken, especially hira-shuriken, were also used in novel ways they could be embedded in the ground, injuring those who stepped on them (similar to a caltrop), wrapped in a fuse to be lit and thrown to cause fire, or wrapped in a cloth soaked in poison and lit to cover an area with a cloud of poisonous smoke. They could also be used as a handheld weapon in close combat.

More info on poison: reports of shuriken being coated with poison, intended either as a throwing weapon or to be left in a conspicuous place for a victim to pick up. Others indicate that shuriken may have been buried in dirt or animal feces and allowed to harbor the bacterium Clostridium tetani if the point penetrated a victim deeply enough, the bacteria transferred into the wound could cause a then-incurable tetanus infection.



This kind of fits with what I was describing above of making 1 time use shuriken that mimic spells. I could see ones that also create clouds of smoke, stinking cloud, and cloudkill effects in areas. Mechanically not that special, but it makes for a nice visual.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36587 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2022 :  20:12:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm still not seeing a need for shuriken as opposed to a simple dart or something like that. I like the idea of using the ranged object for spells, I'm just not sold on it being a shuriken.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11426 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2022 :  21:03:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm still not seeing a need for shuriken as opposed to a simple dart or something like that. I like the idea of using the ranged object for spells, I'm just not sold on it being a shuriken.



Only reason .... they'd be shaped like the 8 pointed star with the circle around it.... i.e. they'd be a hurled mystran holy symbol.

Now, if it's something that releases a one time spell effect, I don't see it needing to be an item that requires weapon proficiency (or it could be written up that it could use dart or throwing dagger proficiency as well as shuriken). You're not needing to nail it into things, just lob it in the general direction of whatever you want to hit. You

Also, I'm not really talking about the prerequisite for this class... I'm just pointing out that I could see Mystrans in particular making a magic item with this shape. Similarly, I could see them making robes of stars with the mystran star shape on them, or rings of shooting stars with the star being mystra's holy symbol, etc...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
776 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2022 :  21:13:35  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I appreciate the discourse on the shuriken. That said, Diffan answered my burning question about mechanical feat tax. One of my axioms is a feat prerequisite should somehow the into a prestige class in addition to being a feat tax.
So instead of Exotic Weapon Proficiency, perhaps a different type of requirement. May be make the candidate be able to cast 3rd level arcane and divine spells. That effectively cuts down on caster levels and access to 9th level spells. A compromise measure is to require 2nd level spells for one class, 3rd level for the other class.
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
776 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2022 :  21:40:25  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know about the shenanigans dweomerkeeper has been noted for. Many scribes will take issue with denying 9th level spell access to followers of Mystra. In that case, I would recommend nerfing the mantle of spells feature.
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