Thanks everyone for the insightful advice you offered for the first iteration of this unique artifact for one of my players. If you’d like to read the background and initial considerations on this item, please refer to the previous question: Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced?
Changes and considerations
- Reduced the amount of active abilities in favor of passive ones;
- Reduced the flat +1/+2/+3 bonus to hit and damage for a lower +0/+1/+2;
- Reworded and clarified the teleport ability, and made it a bit more “dangerous” to use;
- Clarified the Freedom of Movement aura ability, and made it shorter-ranged as well so that there’s more risk in jumping in the fray to help out a restrained ally;
- Changed damage type from force to radiant to stay closer to the theme;
- The line attack changed from a creature within 120 feet to a point within 80 feet, to match the range of the weapon and to make it a bit more versatile to use. Not sure if it’s really relevant or recommended;
- spread the damage increase across the levels and capped it to 1d10;
- Fly became passive and permanent instead of limited to 1h;
- Added a passive ability that would protect the user from conditions that could reduce their agency against manipulative monsters.
Item levels reference points
- The item is going to be awarded somewhere around character level 6, and it’ll start from Dormant
- The item is going to be Awakened around level 10 or 11, depending on the roleplay of the user
- The item is going to be Exalted around level 15, with the same caveat as before.
Simple weapon, ranged weapon, artifact (requires attunement)
1d6 radiant (80/320 ft.), two-handed
The shortbow is made of an extremely light wood with colors that vary between walnut and cherry. When exposed to dawn or dusk light, it shines with golden reflections. The grip is wrapped in soft, white leather that seems impervious to dust and grime. All along the upper and lower limbs of the bow, there’s a number of empty, unusually shaped grooves and slots.
Sentience: Eleutheria is a sentient Chaotic Good weapon with an Intelligence of 15, a Wisdom of 19 and a Charisma of 16. It has hearing and blindsight out to a range of 80 feet. The weapon communicates telepathically with its wielder and can speak, read, and understand Celestial and Sylvan.
Personality: A Curious, incautious and excitable Fey spirit lives within Eleutheria. It has an insatiable appetite for adventure, bold actions, and a very personal sense of justice and hatred for tyrants and bullies. The spirit wishes to learn more about the world and its inhabitants.
Dormant: The shortbow grants the following benefits in its dormant state:
- You can speak, read, and write Celestial and Sylvan.
- The attacks of this weapon are considered magical.
- The shortbow doesn’t need physical arrows when attacking. Translucent arrows of pure energy magically appear as soon as you draw the bow’s string.
- When you make an attack against an hostile creature using Eleutheria, you can use a bonus action to magically teleport to a space you can see within 15 feet of the target of that attack. You can’t use this property again until you take a short or long rest.
- While Eleutheria is on your person, you have Advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made for detecting traps and Dexterity checks for attempting to pick locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints in order to free a trapped creature. If you aren’t proficient with Thieves’ Tools, you become proficient when picking locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints.
Awakened: When the shortbow reaches an awakened state, it gains the following properties:
- You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
- Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
- The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d8.
- While holding the shortbow, you can use a bonus action to evoke a gentle, warm (or cool, your choice) breeze to flow around you for the duration. For 1 hour, you and any creature of your choice will benefit from the effects of Freedom of Movement while they’re within 5 feet of you. You can’t use this property again until the next dawn.
- When you speak its command word, your arrow transforms into a beam of pure radiant energy, forming a line 5 feet wide that extends out from you to a point you can see within 80 feet of you. Each creature in the line, excluding you, must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d12 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.
Exalted: When the shortbow reaches an exalted state, it gains the following properties:
- The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +2.
- Your walking speed increases by an additional 10 feet.
- The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d10.
- You can channel the winds around you to support you in your movement. You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
- While attuned to the shortbow, you can’t be charmed, frightened, petrified, or forced to be prone.