Diopsid (bug guys from Dragon Magazine)

Diopsid were a race of bug dudes from 3rd-edition era Dragon magazine. You can find them in the Dragon Compendium. I really like them for some reason and wanted to convert them into an ACKS race. However the two powers that really make them what they are - bioluminescence and using their four arms to wield two-handed weapons in one hand - don’t have exact analogs in ACKS.

For bioluminescence I think it’d be about the same as infravision. I made it basically that they can shed light as a torch at will for 2 custom powers.

The arms thing is more complicated. Diopsid have four arms, two of which are small and weak so they can’t wield four weapons or anything, but they can use them to counterbalance very large weapons so they can, say, wield a two-handed sword and a shield or even dual wield two-handed swords.

So the question is: Should I a) use the power as-is and count it as, like, 4 custom powers? It seems sort of overpowered for ACKS but on the other hand at will flight is available for 5 custom powers, so I think it could be balanced. Or b) simplify it by saying when wielding a weapon that can be wielded in one or two hands, like a normal sword, they always get the two-handed damage even if holding it in one hand, for 1 or 2 custom powers? That seems simpler and more balanced, but on the other hand doesn’t really capture the ability and places a gamey sort of limitation on it.

Anyone have thoughts?

think of it this way: top level combat is basically balanced around 3 and a half modes of combat:

  1. weapon and shield: you deal 1d6 damage, you have +1 AC, for a proficiency you can get fighting style for an extra +1 AC or an extra +1 to hit. in a pinch, you can drop the shield to do 1d8 damage.
  2. two weapons: you deal 1d6 damage, you have +1 to hit, for a proficiency you can get fighting style for an extra +1 to hit. in a pinch, you can drop the offhand to do 1d8 damage.
  3. 2-handed weapon: you deal 1d10 damage, for a proficiency you can get fighting style for an extra +1 to hit.

if your guys can weild a 2-handed weapon AND a shield, you’re looking at an average increase of +2 damage (1d6 = 3.5, 1d10 = 5.5) over someone with the same AC weilding a standard weapon. This is roughly equivalent to berserkergang, although slightly better since there’s nothing about becoming unable to retreat.

Fighting Style (2-handed weapon) is +1 to damage, not +1 to hit.

But otherwise, this is pretty much exactly what I was going to post. The ability to use a 2-handed weapon in one hand can be mapped as a simple damage boost; I’d say 2 powers to be on the conservative side.

Actually, thinking about it, since you could use a shield or DW as you chose, 2 powers is now the minimum in my brain, since a flat +1 damage all the time is 1 power, and this is basically +2 damage all of the time, or +1 AC, or +1 to hit, depending on what you want to compare it to. (It’s +2 to damage compared to using a 1-hander in one hand, or +1 AC when using a shield compared to 2h, or +1 to hit when dual-wielding compared to a 2-hander).

So I would peg it at 2 or 3 custom powers, but still well within the allowable range for a race.