Not at all inspired by its namesake from Baldur's Gate
base item: dagger
Any Vampiric Touch, Enervation or Energy Drain you cast while wielding this dagger will also affect enemies in medium range around the original target --- Any temporary caster levels you acquire from Energy Drain while holding this dagger will last 50% longer and grant you +1 shield AC per stack, up to +3. --- cannot be held in off-hand --- immunities: b/p/s, positive, negative: 5%
Nothing else, no skills or spell slots or other immunities. It is a caster weapon, obviously, it could just as well be a staff/orb, but then it would lose the sacrificial dagger vibe AoE ED may be a touch too strong, but the lack of spell slots and general useful stats is a trade-off. It could also be allowed to be held in off-hand, disproportionately benefitting evil clerics with monk splash, but such is life.
In my opinion an item like this would be the next tier of caster weapons. I think slots need to be on it, but you don’t need to use as many as are on a Tia Staff. I also think you can drop the focis. And I’d add a feature to pick one stat which can grow to +16 at 70 or 80.
Casters have been capped by Tia loot for a long time and something like this adds power and quality of life in a big way. Slap it on a boss in Mechanus or where ever with a few more items doing fun things and you have yourself the future.
At this point in a casters career, they’ll have access to the UR autos and foci so empower the ability for choice.
Other options could be one that does Defoliate / Pesticide in an AOE radius. Vampiric Touch / Finger of Death, and Enervate + Energy Adrain This would then provide versatility for your entire caster base to benefit from an item(s) like this and enhance quality of life dramatically for all parties too.
I'd be wary of adding AoE capability (at least Medium radius, small at max) to very strong spells/abilities.
AoE ED/Enervate could be too strong unless it takes away all the slots tbh and then it's just boring to use (because you get to do other stuff less); but still probably very strong simply because AoE ED means you don't need to use instas as much because everything is puny and dies to stares, and you'd instantly hit max drained status from one drain, while debilitating entire spawns. Too strong, imo. Would rather have stuff like Vamp touch, Enfeeble, Wrack, Eyebite get that aoe boost from items like this. The only reason AoE BC is sort of fine is because of it's low range and can be hard to land and the item is otherwise quite empty, and favoured by Bards. Still quite OP on PM and Pariah; which if didn't fall short in other areas would make it too strong. Still used AoE BC helm on Pariah over Gaze into Abyss every day of the week in zones suitable, of course staff is much more beefed up with slots than the helm but still to give another example of such decision making where you choose one strong ability over slots.
AoE defoliate/pesticide would certainly make for quality of life (azz/limbo pt2 mainly), but calling it simply that seems misleading. Would make the game way easier (limbo pt2) and be *extremely* strong. Upside of course having to spend less slots in a single spell and being less of a spamonespell machine (druiding pt2 can be quite irritating sometimes). Aoeclearing the defoliateables without need for proper targeting and making the clear way faster, easier, I'd like to say dumber. Not necessarily a bad thing I suppose. Maybe the kind of things we'd need to make the run less irritating indeed, but it's closer to buffing a class/ability, not increasing QoL imo.
Another idea for this type of sacrificial dagger would be to make a spell roll a save and/or sr a second time if the first one didn't land. Example: Area X drops new set items in slots Staff, Gloves (new addition for versatility!), Amulet. 2/3 spell slots of a Tia item. Each item boosts a specific different spell for that class, preferably in different schools. Could be Rebuke + Bestow Curse + Destruction, or something else. Preferably not AoE stuff, I feel like the AoE insta mowing down thing should be left to lowbie areas and should not be made more easier at this point. That's something for the already existing AoE spells and also something that Limbo and many areas of Abyss got right, imo. You don't just make everything disappear with two spells, and scary mobs don't just disappear to Weird, you are forced to deal and react to things before all of them die.
Interesting, I viewed AoE enervation as the stronger one. When you land AoE ED in the middle of a mixed pack (some of which may be immune to level drain), you can get 3 temp CLs instantly and perhaps soften up couple mobs weak to lvl drain - mainly though you save lvl 9 slots, which is why the original suggestion has no spell slots. Enervation on the other hand always has the offensive component in the inflictions, unless it is blocked by spell level immunity. In that regard it is stronger, it directly boosts the group's damage output, in addition to lvl draining susceptible targets. (Frankly AoE Vampiric Touch is just flavor fluff with niche use at best)
Yeah, looks like u can cs anythin non crit imm. - Big Crit
For PM, especially Wiz PM - the Enervation part is probably stronger. For Sorc it's infinitely stronger on ED imo. Stronger drains, boosts up everything else you do, and makes other classes wipe the spawn off the map. Enervation is obviously better for the non-instakillable drain immune spawns - so more versatile in that regard. You might be right in Enervation being stronger, who knows. I always felt enervation effect quite negligible for the time it takes to cast the spell (and land it, low spell with no items to boost it usually), AoE would just make it worth using more even on non-PMs.
Baneknights would be balanced if they could splash paladin. -Caeha Everyone should stop using the same portrait so I can GR them better, damnit. -Caeha