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Crystal equipment
#1
As I mentioned in another thread, I'm a fan of psionics (especially Dreamscarred Press' adaptation), and a theme that both psionics and Final Fantasy have in common is a focus on crystals. One of my favorite aspects was the idea of having crystals for weapons and armor, and being able to enhance them by spending power points on them, which is a reasonably effective option in certain circumstances, and with how MP works in this game, it's a great way to make having crystal gear be more than just something that looks fancy.

The rules I'm thinking of are thus:

Throughout the world, there are many kinds of crystals that can be harvested from various places, and they typically have some small amount of magical essence in them, and some even have elemental affinities. There is a certain grade of crystal from which weapons and armor, strong as steel, can be made, and though it is rare, those who have a pool of mana to draw from can use them with startling effectiveness. The power and rarity of these crystals vary, and are commonly divided into three groups: elemental, divine, and cosmic.

The primary function of the crystal depends upon whether it is used to make armor or weaponry. Through a crystal weapon, a character with an MP pool may spend MP to add damage to their attacks as a free action. For each MP spent, 1d6 of the element that the crystal weapon is attuned to is added to the damage of the attack; no more than half of the character's HD may be spent on any single attack. The additional damage lasts either for one minute or until an attack is made. Regardless of whether the attack hits or misses, the damage is spent upon making an attack roll; expenditure of more points may be used for additional attacks, but each attack must have MP expended for each attack it is going to be applied to. Ranged weapons have crystals embedded in them, and bestow the damage upon their ammunition. Ammunition made of crystal may be charged as normal, but it is destroyed after the attack, whether it hits or not.

Crystal armor, on the other hand, offers greater protection at the cost of MP. For each point of MP spent as an immediate action, the wearer can negate two points of damage from the element that the crystal is attuned to would be strong against (for example, wearing earth crystal armor and spending five MP would negate ten points of lightning damage) for one round. As with crystal weapons, the user may only spend as many MP at one time as half of their HD. Divine crystal armor can function against both holy and shadow damage, and cosmic crystal armor functions against all elements; it may even negate non-elemental damage, but two MP must be spent for each point of non-elemental damage that is negated. Shields made of crystal are treated as armor, and may be of a different type than the armor worn, although tower shields may not be made of crystal.

Regardless of whether the crystal is fashioned into armor, shields, or weaponry, the crystal's abilities overlap with any other abilities in the equipment or innate abilities of the user that are of the same element (for example, spending 1 MP on a Fire crystal weapon with a level 3 Fire materia in it does not give you +3d6 fire damage, and you must still spend 3 MP to get ice resistance 6 from your Ice crystal armor, and it won't stack with your natural ice resistance 5 to give you ice resistance 11).

Crystal equipment also interacts curiously with materia; putting materia that is associated with an element that the crystal's element would either be strong or weak against, e.g. putting Water or Earth materia in a Lightning crystal weapon, doubles the MP cost when using the crystal's abilities due to the clashing energies. Materia of the same element as the crystal initially has no effect upon the equipment, but activation of the crystal's abilities with the materia in it will give the equipment the broken condition. Using the crystal's abilities when the equipment has the broken condition destroys the item instead. Cosmic crystal is the only variety that is exempt from this limitation.

Sources of supernatural energy of other kinds offered by the wielder's class may also be used to power crystal equipment. These typically provide greater bonuses than the expenditure of MP, but the effects are still limited by level, e.g. a 4th-level red mage who spends 1 point from their arcane pool on a wind crystal longsword will still only get 2d6 wind damage on their next attack, regardless of how much an arcane point would normally grant.

- Uses per day from an arcane pool, channel energy, dark pool, harm touch, holy pool, and lay on hands ability count as 4 MP, but the dark pool and harm touch abilities can only power earth, water, wind, and shadow crystal, while the holy pool and lay on hands can only power fire, ice, lightning, and holy crystal. Channeling positive energy powers fire, ice, lightning, holy, and cosmic crystal, while channeling negative energy powers earth, water, wind, shadow, and cosmic crystal.

-Uses per day from an arcane reservoir, ki pool, motes of time, and veil pool count as 3 MP.

-Points from an animus pool count as 2 MP.

Crystals may be attuned only to one element, which is determined upon finding it. All crystal equipment is considered masterwork; this is included in the extra cost. The normal additional cost for a weapon is used for twenty pieces of ammunition.

Elemental crystals: Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth, Lightning, and Water.
Divine crystals: Holy and Shadow.
Cosmic crystals: Non-elemental.

Weapons: +1,000 gil (elemental), +2,000 gil (divine), +3,000 gil (cosmic).

Armor: +500 gil (light), +1,000 gil (medium), +1,500 gil (heavy), +1,000 (shield); +2,000 gil (elemental), +4,000 gil (divine), +6,000 (cosmic).

Crystal has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#2
Would it make more sense for the Crystal to which the element is attuned to grant protection from the element it is strong against instead of the one it is weak to? Like Earth crystal would reduce Electricity damage in stead of Wind?

And for- say Divine Full Plate- that would be 1500 for the heavy armor AND 4000 for the divine in addition to the full plate right? Masterwork prices are already factored into that?
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#3
The armor's elemental resistance is something I based off of the elemental armors in Final Fantasy IV (fire armor protects you against ice, ice armor protects you against fire), although I do suppose that your suggestion is more sensible. I'll have a go at switching that around.

And for the armor prices, yes. You get a price increase based on the size, and another based on the type of crystal. For example, getting divine crystal full plate would cost a total of 7,000 gil (1,500 gil for the full plate, +1,500 gil for it being heavy crystal armor, and +4,000 gil for being divine crystal). It's rather expensive, but if you ask me, something definitely worth considering, especially if you want to go all-out and get cosmic crystal armor.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#4
Non-elemental damage: would this encompass weapon damage also? Like piercing/slashing/bludgeoning damage? Or is this specifically for Non-elemental damage the type?
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#5
It adds the energy type to your attack; the nature of the crystals is magical, and so the extra damage is as well. Deep crystal added another 2d6 to your weapon damage, which means that it can be affected by things like criticals and whatnot, since it's not precision damage either. This stuff, being energy damage tacked onto your attack, doesn't get that multiplier, but in return you can spend more points on it to do more damage. Non-elemental damage is just the magical energy, like from the Ultima spell.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#6
Sorry, I meant in regards to the Armor- if you are reducing "non-elemental damage" would this be useful against a Fighter type that is just whacking you with his beating stick? Or is this more about reducing the damage from Spells that deal Non-Elemental Damage specifically?
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#7
Spells and abilities that deal non-elemental damage (again, like Ultima).

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#8
Any instances of +xdy damage is NOT multiplied on a critical hit, only static increases such as a +2 Morale Bonus or a +2 Circumstance bonus would be multiplied, unless you have an instance of +3 Precision damage but I can't think of anything like that off the top of my head.

Deep Crystal, and these similar material weapons, would not confer additional dice on a critical... and if they did it would follow the outlines of the XXX Burst weapons (1d10 for X2, 2d10 for X3, etc...) and cost a chunk more. I'd advise against this though so we don't have Special Weapon Properties without taking Enhancement bonuses to worry about since Materia already covers that.

Since Cosmic is the most expensive, for armor you might follow how the Bahamut Materia functions and gain Energy Resistance against ALL elements (confers non-elemental damage to weapons, like Cosmic) since aside from Cosmic weapons, non-elemental damage is actually quite uncommon so it'd be a bit of an odd thing to pay extra for.

And while I like the elmental wheel (bonuses against the weak element) or the opposing (fire - ice, water - electricity, etc), it might be simpler to just gain resistance against the element the crystal is attuned to. Fire protects against Fire, Water to Water, yada yada.

All in all the idea looks fine but how it would mesh with an FFd20 game is questionable since Vil chose to cut down materia slots for the express reason of avoiding tacking on too many dice to attacks, and this gives another source of damage that doesn't take up any slots. Yeah you pay more for it, but it ends up feeling like a workaround...

If there was a special line about Crystal Weapons and Armor not being able to contain materia because of the different energies clashing, or something along those lines, it could work out a bit better.
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#9
For the elemental attunements, perhaps that it can't have any materia of an element that the crystal's element is either strong or weak against? Using the Earth crystal example again, that means that they wouldn't be able to have either Lightning- or Wind-elemental materia in their gear? Divine crystal wouldn't be able to hold materia of either the Holy or Shadow element, depending upon what element the crystal is (or, to be safe, it can't hold either Holy or Shadow, regardless of what type of Divine crystal it is). Cosmic not being able to hold any materia that confers an elemental bonus sounds reasonable (so that you still can hold something in it, even if your choices are cut down to utility materia) as well, possibly. Any of the boni from the crystal do not stack with boni from any enchantments or materia in them or any other boni innate to the character either (so you can't have a level 3 Fire materia in a Fire crystal weapon and get +3d6 fire damage for spending 1 MP, or your Ice crystal armor doesn't stack with your natural Ice elemental resistance of 5, so you're still going to have to spend 3 MP to get Ice resistance 6 against the one damage roll).

The non-elemental armor I've already specified that it works as normal against all elements, you just have to pay two MP for 1 point of Non-Elemental resistance, since for all intents and purposes, non-elemental damage is akin to Force damage in Pathfinder (which is a rather powerful energy type), or so I thought? It's in the last line about how crystal armor works. A level 20 character could spend 10 MP and get resistance 20 to all elements and Non-Elemental resistance 5, for example.

The main reason why this special material comes across as relatively balanced to me is because you're spending a limited resource for a few extra dice of damage that is already limited by your level (you're only spending five points at most when you're at 10th), on top of the monetary costs that come with it, which can amount to a small fortune at the earliest times you can afford the stuff. For the classes who are made to be out there and trading blows (Holy and Dark Knights, Red Mages, etcetera), their MP is an even more limited resource, and either they're going to be blowing it all on whacking a bad guy really hard, barely managing to survive the Firaga they just got nailed with, and having nothing to cast spells with the rest of the day, or they're going to be sucking down Ethers like they're going out of style, which is a pretty big hindrance to the other classes in your party that rely more on their magic. It's a very consumables-intensive source of damage or protection, especially if you wanna get into higher grades of stuff.

EDIT: Oh! Also, your mention of the deep crystal's extra damage? I was saying that the damage done with that was multiplied, not the dice, since the 2d6 was increased weapon damage, but after having a look, I'm pretty sure I was wrong there anyway.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#10
Maybe to avoid any overpowering damage you can just stipulate that the Crystal Weapons and Armor cannot slot any Elemental or Divine materia? You wanna hold a Utility in there for a couple feats, or +X to a stat? Sure, go for it, but trying to add Holy damage to Fire Crystal has unwanted, if pretty side effects.

I must have missed the part on the Non-Elemental Resistance/All Element Resistance, so my bad on that one.

And yeah, it'd be like if you multiplied the extra dice from Vicious or Bane weapons just cause they added to the attack. The general rule is: No variable damage bonuses are ever multipled regardless of type, only static.

Only way to multiply more dice is to use a larger weapon.

The Armor should probably be used as an Immediate action, otherwise you'd have to spend the MP on your turn and run the risk of the effect being wasted, Immediate lets you do it in response to an attack. And you could probably get away with it lasting until the end of your next turn, rather than 1 attack, since paying MP per attack would burn through the limited resource even more for something that a single spell could be much better at.

I'm still of the mind that the Armor crystal should just give resistance to the element itself rather than the one it's strong against, it's just simpler and fits in line with anything else like it. Dragonhide/skin, for instance.
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#11
I suppose that having the armor activate as an immediate action instead of a free action is a fair tradeoff for having the elemental resistance stick for a round. After all, I'm the one who presented the argument that this stuff will eat through your MP like crazy, and even having it go for one round at a time like that can suck a lot of magic out of you.

As for the element it resists, I think I'll poll it to get more of an idea of what the rest of us think is better. Not that I don't agree with you, just getting some extra input, which never hurts.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#12
Im a simple guy. Id say do elemental resistance as well. (Btw i love the idea, ive been trying to come up with new enhancements and materials. We need more of those)

As a thought on materia, you could have materia slotted act a MP for the armor? Allowing even non-mages some room with the armor.

Lvl1 Materia= 1MP Lvl2= 3 Mp Lvl3= 5Mp Mastered=7 Mp? But as dai said putting materia with this would be pretty brutal. This could be where. Oh i can do fire damage with my armor, if i got a fire materia in it i can spend it instead of my own mp? Idk throwing out wads here i just woke up.
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#13
I like the material fueling the armor too. Or just use MP Materia, it already exists and can provide a pool of magic to fuel the armor.
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#14
How's about materia that the crystal's element would either be strong or weak against makes you double the MP cost from the clashing energies (you would have to spend 6 MP for 3d6 of fire damage if you have an Ice or Water materia in a Fire crystal weapon, or you'd have to spend 1 MP for each point of elemental resistance from your Wind crystal armor if you have Ice or Earth materia in it)? Having a materia of the same element gives your weapon or armor the broken condition if you activate either the materia or the crystal, and doing it with broken equipment destroys it instead. Going this route with crystal-materia relationships does give the suggestion of armor protecting you against its own element more support.

I do have some ideas for other materials and such, like having Wurtzite from XIII be Adamant+ with some magic-resistant properties (I know that wurtzite in real life is actually pretty soft and fragile stuff, but bear with me here, if Adamantortoises were originally supposed to be replaced with a Wurtzitoise and Adamant Bangles upgrade to Wurtzite Bangles, then I'll stick to that logic).

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#15
Updated the entry a bit, tell me if there's anything I missed.

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#16
Considering that at least one of the initiator archetypes I've made has the Animus class feature (Eblanese Ninja at this point, I may make another archetype that has it as well), I'm thinking that similar things could be used to power crystal equipment. One point of animus would count as two MP being spent to power the crystal, one point from a ki pool would power would count as 3 MP, and a point from an arcane pool would count as 4 MP. Regardless of how much each point would power the crystal, the effect is still limited by level (a 6th-level Red Mage spending an arcane point to power their fire crystal rapier would still only get +3d6 fire damage). Other things, like a use of Lay On Hands or Harm Touch could be similar (albeit limited to particular elements, perhaps)? Like a use of Lay On Hands could count as 4 MP, but only works on fire, lightning, and ice elemental crystals, holy divine crystals, and cosmic crystals, while Harm Touch would be of similar use on earth, wind, and water elemental crystals, shadow divine crystals, and cosmic crystals.

Thoughts on this?

Signing of Manly Man ~A Man~
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#17
I'm not sure you would truly need to limit the elements of hands/harm. Assuming I understand the idea of crystals, and assuming they relate to similiar things in FF effects. I think it would just eat up the power or life force just fine.
If you want ed to open it up in general. You could also run with the FF style "eat magic and life = magic" so you could have people pay with MP, Ability, or Permi HP loss (until sleep).
The ability usage per day cost would be abit hard to balance loss vs usage.
If you did "ability or mp only" and didn't touch the HP stuff. then you might consider a feat that gifts points per day for that stuff. SOrta like the MP feat. Since the weapons would be relatively specialty.

I like the idea of paying with magic, or life force the most. Its semi classic in theme, and anyone can use it. Though actually probably don't make it permi a day damage. There are MP potions and there HP potions... Just go with the HP/ MP usage.
it keeps it open for anyone and everyone. Admitidly it distances itself from the original psionic cocnept.. but it also is just so cool idea.

I would love to play my Alchem Bullet Chemist (siege gunner) with a Crystal rifle.
Yakno if I could play haha.
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