The following was a question sent to Goodman Games from a fan regarding The Fey Sisters' Fate. The fan who sent the question agreed to have me post it (along with my long-winded response) so that others could benefit from the clarification.
In The Fey Sisters' Fate, maybe I'm a little thick, but I'm unclear on how the property of Parmalae (Melina's rapier) is intended to function. Here is the text, "When attuned to a creature with the fey type (or a creature touched by fey in some way), once per day on a successful hit, the target is imbued with a glittery fey lining. This glowing aura grants advantage on ranged attacks and lasts for one minute."
If "the target" is the creature that the character wielding Parmalae is attacking with the rapier, what would be the point of granting that creature advantage on ranged attacks?
If "the target" is the character attuned to the weapon, but it only activates "on a successful hit," what would be the point of gaining advantage on ranged attacks while wielding a melee weapon and engaged in melee, especially since the advantage only lasts for a minute? The character would either have to take the Disengage action to get out of melee (and hope that no creature engages him in melee) or wait until he defeats his current melee opponent so he could sheath the rapier, draw a ranged weapon and attack on his next turn (again assuming no other creature engages him in melee in the meantime), and hope the combat is still going on.
So, what am I missing?
First of all, the ability I gave the rapier was a minor property (see the table in the DMG regarding sample minor properties for magic items). The goal here was to give the rapier a minor magical property that fit the theme of the NPC (and adventure). My inspiration was the spell Faerie Fire, but even though that is only a 1st level spell, I thought it was a bit overpowered for a minor property. So I adjusted it to only give advantage on ranged attacks. The target is the creature that gets hit with the rapier. I admit I should have phrased that better (something like, "once per day on a successful hit, the target takes weapon damage, and is imbued with a glittery fey lining".) The intent in having the fey lining grant advantage to ranged attacks for one minute was not necessarily intended for the benefit of the rapier wielder, but instead the wielder's allies. As you have pointed out, the wielder could disengage, and switch to a ranged weapon to get the advantage (but this is not an easy process). Still, the effect lasts for 1 minute (or 10 combat rounds), so it is possible.
That said, 5E is much more free-form than 4E, or even 3E/3.5E (as Mr. Gygax envisioned old school 1E). I would think you could easily swap the written minor property with the Faerie Fire spell (giving advantage to both melee and ranged attacks, plus nullifying invisibility) and it would not unbalance things too much.
I hope that helps! Good Gaming!
Question Regarding Fey Sisters' Fate
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