In the ultra-deadly Lair Assault environment, the right tools and equipment can mean the difference between survival and a Total Party Kill. Here are a few items for you to consider…
In the first Dungeons and Dragons Lair Assault challenge, Forge of the Dawn Titan, players may choose one magic item of the sixth, fifth, and fourth level or lower. They may also spend up to 840 gold to purchase additional mundane or magic items, but they may not purchase more than two consumable items.
Please note that this article does not list the complete details of any DnD item. Please refer to the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons Insider (DDI) Character Builder or Compendium for full item descriptions. Happy shopping!
Magic Weapons and Implements
For nearly any character, your level six magic item choice should be a +2 weapon or implement. A +2 item provides a higher attack bonus, more damage per attack, and more bonus damage dice on a critical hit. While you might be tempted to choose a +2 set of magic armor, a strong offense might be enough to prevent one final attack from an opponent. Aside from a +2 item, here are a few magic weapons and implements to consider for your assault on the dawn titan’s lair.
The Defender’s Sacrifice
Since you have more healing surges than you can probably use in the encounter, burning a surge to weaken a key opponent can mean the difference between conscious and unconscious allies.
Sacrificial Weapon +2 (Level 6 )
Weapon: Any melee
Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. Spend a healing surge, and instead of regaining hit points, you cause the target to become weakened until the end of your next turn.
The Monk’s Best Friend
If you thought brutal weapons were awesome, check out this ki focus. With a Monk, the damage dice of EVERY attack will be a minimum of three, with no re-rolls required.
Devastating Ki Focus +1 (Level 5)
Property: When you roll damage for an implement attack or a weapon attack with this ki focus, any die that shows a 1 or a 2 instead deals 3 damage.
Ranged Striker’s Off-hand Companion
Do you have a ranged striker who needs a decent melee weapon? Trying to find ways spend your 840 gold? Well this is the short sword for you…
Rhythm Blade +1 (Level 3; Price: 680 gp)
Weapon: Light blade
Property: While you wield this weapon in your off hand, your shield bonus to AC and Reflex increases by 1.
Magic Clothing and Armor
Armor of Sudden Recovery +1 (Level 3; 680 gp)
Armor: Cloth, Leather
Power (Daily * Healing): Minor Action. You can use this power when you’re taking ongoing damage. The ongoing damage ends, and you gain regeneration equal to the amount of the ongoing damage until the end of the encounter.
Anyone who has played through the Forge of the Dawn Titan once knows that there is a LOT of ongoing damage. Why not turn that into regeneration?
Bloodcut Armor +1 (Level 4)
Armor: Leather, Hide
Power (Healing Surge): Minor Action. While you are bloodied, use this armor to gain resist 10 to all damage until the end of your next turn.
It should be noted that while this item is still awesome, it is NOT as awesome as the character builder OR compendium might lead you to believe. Upon closer inspection, the DMs at my LFGS discovered that a Standard Action is required to “recharge” the power. To clarify, this item requires a minor action and a healing surge to activate the damage resistance, and a standard action to re-enable the item power (and then another minor action and healing surge are required to activate the damage resistance).
Battle Harness +1 (Level 4)
Armor: Cloth, Leather, Hide
Property: As a free action, you can draw a sheathed weapon or retrieve a stowed item.
Property: You gain a power bonus to initiative equal to the item’s enhancement bonus.
I am a big fan of this item, because I think it goes well with the Defender Slingshot strategy I described last week in the Party Optimization post. And it never hurts to be able to chug a potion with just one minor action instead of two.
Armor of Sacrifice +1 (Level 5)
Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate
Power (At-Will): Minor Action. Use this power when you are adjacent to an ally who is subject to an effect that a save can end. The ally is no longer affected, and you now have the effect. You cannot make a saving throw against this effect until the end of your next turn.
Power (Daily • Healing): Minor Action. Spend a healing surge. One ally within 5 squares of you regains hit points as though he or she had spent a healing surge.
Any item that can remove status effects from allies is a good choice. After all, someone needs to get the leader up if they fall unconscious. Paired with the Superior feats, a sacrificial weapon can also be very useful to take ongoing damage or other nasty effects off an ally, and move them onto your hardier character.
Shadowdance Armor +1 (Level 5)
Armor: Cloth, Leather
Property: Your area and ranged attacks don’t provoke opportunity attacks.
The daily power on this item is not worth mentioning, but avoiding opportunity attacks as a ranged striker is awesome, especially if it saves you a feat.
Fireburst Armor +1 (Level 3, 680 gp)
Property: You automatically succeed on saving throws against ongoing fire damage.
Anyone who has run through the Lair Assault Forge of the Dawn Titan module knows they are going to burn. A lot. Auto-saving vs. ongoing fire damage is nice, especially if you have an ally who can easily grant saving throws.
Armor of Resistance +1 (Level 2; 520 gp)
Property: Resist 5 to a damage type chosen from the following list at the time the armor is created: acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, thunder.
No racial, background, theme, or feat-related damage resistance? Well, when all else fails, this armor is an option. And if you are trying to target the damage types specific to the Forge of the Dawn Titan mod, this can help provide that last type of resistance you so desperately need.
Dwarven Armor +1 (Level 2; 520 gp)
Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate
Power (Daily * Healing): Free Action. You regain hit points as if you had spent a healing surge.
Surgeless free action healing? Don’t mind if I do!
Any Armor +2
I am of the opinion that maximizing defenses is a sucker’s game in the Lair Assault play format. Have no illusions– you ARE going to get hit, and you are going to take damage. In nearly all cases, I think a party is better served by each player selecting a +2 weapon instead of +2 armor. The only instance I can think of where +2 Armor might be a smart idea would be with Summoned Armor. With Summoned Armor, a defender could temporarily make his plate mail vanish in order to make important skill checks without an armor penalty.
Neck Slot Items
Amulet of Life +1 (Level 5)
Power (Encounter * Healing): Free Action. Trigger: Use this power when you spend a healing surge. Effect: You can spend an additional healing surge.
This is a nifty item, especially if you have other items that consume healing surges, like the Bloodcut Armor.
Cloak of Resistance +1 (Level 2, 520 gp)
Power (Daily): Minor Action. Gain resist 5 to all damage until the start of your next turn.
Note that in Forge of the Dawn Titan, fire resistance is halved, but resistance to all damage is not. If you find yourself exposed, this could save your arse.
Safewing Amulet +1 (Level 3, 680 gp)
Property: When falling, you reduce the distance fallen (for the purpose of calculating damage) by a number of feet equal to 10 × the amulet’s enhancement bonus. You always land on your feet after a fall.
Whenever there is a D&D module that claims to be “deadly” you can bet falling damage is a possibility. If you don’t have the option to be trained in acrobatics, you may want to consider this item.
Brooch of Shielding +1 (Level 3; 680 gp)
Property: Gain resist 10 force.
Power (Daily): Immediate Interrupt. Use this power when you are hit by an area, close, or ranged attack. Gain resist to all damage equal to the brooch’s resist force value against that attack.
This is one of the few items, especially at low level, that provide force resistance. It also has a daily interrupt power that can shield you from a deathblow when you are low on hit points.
Lucky Charm +1 (Level 4; 840 gp)
Power (Daily): No Action. Trigger: You miss with an attack or fail a skill check, ability check, or saving throw. Effect: Roll a d6 and add the result to the attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw.
So you didn’t want to choose the Harper theme, eh? No worries, this item provides the same daily power benefit. Or you can just take both and be a super Harper.
Collar of Recovery +1 (Level 4; Price: 840 gp)
Property: Gain extra hit points equal to this item’s enhancement bonus when you spend a healing surge to regain hit points.
Who doesn’t need more hit points when death is almost inevitable?
Other Items to Consider
Circlet of Second Chances (Level 3; 680 gp)
Item Slot: Head
Power (Daily): No Action. Use this power when you fail a saving throw. Reroll the saving throw, using the second result even if it’s lower.
Belt of Vigor (Level 2; 520 gp)
Item Slot: Waist
Property: You gain a +1 item bonus to your healing surge value.
Counters of Second Chances (Level 5)
Item Slot: Arms
Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you miss with a melee attack. Reroll the attack, and use the second result, even if it’s lower.
Although some players may find it difficult to justify choosing this item as their level 5 magic item, I highly recommend this item for Vampires. When you unleash your ungodly 2d12+2d8+1d10+mods melee attack, you NEED to hit!
Potion of Healing (Level 5; 50 gp)
Standard faire. You’ll probably want to buy two of these, assuming you don’t buy a fourth magic item that costs 840 gold.
Potion of Resistance (Level 4, 40 gp)
There are multiple types of damage dealt in the Forge of the Dawn Titan. You may not be able to obtain resistance from all damage types with racial traits and armor alone. A potion of resistance can round out your ability to resist any damage Lair Assault can dish out.
Potion of Regeneration (Level 9, 140g)
This is a level NINE item, and therefore ILLEGAL for Lair Assault Forge of the Dawn Titan. One of the players used this during my first run and I didn’t catch it, but he won’t get away with it next time!
Have you discovered any items you feel are particularly useful in this Lair Assault challenge? Let us know!