Gods of the Fall - Staff of Serpents

edited October 2016 in Rules and General Q&A
I have a question about the Staff of Serpents artifact on page 181 of the Gods of the Fall book. Specifically the Venom power. The power in question is written as thus: "Venom: When used as a medium weapon, the staff inflicts normal damage plus on a failed might defense roll, 5 additional points of speed damage (ignores armor)."  This would be fine if the staff were only going to be wielded by NPCs or creatures against PCs. If the PCs acquire the staff what then? NPCs or creatures don't make might defense rolls and they don't have speed pools. So how do we know when the 5 additional points of damage are done? I assume that the NPC would just take regular damage since they don't have a speed pool. I thought about doing the 5 damage on a 17, 18, 19, or 20 and letting them replace the minor and major effects that would normally be scored there but I am not sure if that would be often enough to match the failed might defense roll. Am I over thinking it or what? If anyone has any thoughts or ideas on this thanks in advance.



  • It looks to me like Venom is an activated power.  So, each time the weapon hits while this power is activated, either the player or the GM would have to roll for the NPC vs. the level of the artifact, since the artifact is level 9 it's not likely that the NPC will avoid the speed damage, unless he/she already knows about the effect and can plan for it.  But he user, the PC, would have to declare that they are using the power, before striking.  If I am wrong, and Venom is actually active at all times, then your idea of making it a minor/major effect makes more sense. 

    Personally I'd have the player declare when they are using it, because them forgetting to do so could be perceived as taking pity on, or showing mercy to their foe.  God-like qualities?
  • It seems like from the way that it is written the power seems to be active when the staff is being used as a medium weapon. If NPCs or creatures had to roll a straight up roll vs a level 9 power then crap they would need a 27 or higher with no effort to spend on the roll unless you house rule effort for NPCs. There are very few NPCs or creatures that could do this granted there are more in Gods of the Fall than in say Numenera or the Strange due to divine shifts and the like but any way you slice it this is a very potent artifact. Oh and thanks for your input Stolentime  :)  

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