Sunday, April 5, 2009

Magical Items

"A Magical Axe +1 so what I'm 9th level dwarven fighter, who needs it!" - a player

Power and Usefulness
A simple magical item may prove useful in the beginning but slowly its importance fades as the hero gains powers and abilities each level. The magic becomes less wondrous and less useful. I present a few humble alternatives to this dilemma. Remember not to let the player know what the magic item's true power is until they research it with sages and wizards or test the item out.

Progressive Power
Progressive power magical items become stronger the longer the hero wields them during their careers. They improve in hit probability and damage dealt. An alternative would be to make it either hit probability or damage bonus increase. They could alternate between the two every two levels. Adding special effects can be a cool way to highlight this. For example: A +2 sword may shed brighter light than a +1 sword

Example table:
Hero Level Hit Probability Damage Bonus
1-2 +1 +1
3-4 +2 +2
5-6 +3 +3
7-8 +4 +4
And so on ...

Sword of Resolve
Description: This long sword is simple and well crafted. The blade has the word 'Resolve' engraved on it. It is said that the powers of the sword increase with the warriors resolve. It sheds white sparks when wielded in combat.Powers: Progressive PowersHero Level Hit Probability Damage Bonus
1-2 +1 +1
3-4 +2 +2
5-6 +3 +3
7-8 +4 +4
And so on ...

Unlockable Powers
These are conditioned upon the hero accomplishing a task or discovering the powers by chance. Then these events take place a ability of the item is unlocked. The item's power is unlocked when the item is used successfully in combat. Another power is unlocked when the item uses it to save another life.

Shield of Assurance
Description: This sturdy medium sized round metal shield is emblazoned with a heraldic beast. It glow with purple light when a blow hits it.
Powers: Unlockable Powers
+1 increase to AC (When used first used in battle.)
+2 increase to AC (Defeat a foe in single combat.)
+3 increase to AC (When used to defend another.)
+4 increase to AC (When used in defending against magical weapons.)

Purposed Powers
These powers are useful when accomplishing a specific purpose. When the purpose is not being done the powers are dormant. While on the quest to complete the purpose the powers are active. The simplest way to think of making up a wand's purpose is to think of an adjective and noun. Examples: Destroy Wands, Save Halflings, Find the Lost, Protect Others.

Axe of Wand Woe
Description: This sturdy dwarven throwing axe is well balanced and rings when thrown.
Powers: When the wielder of the axe uses it to destroy a wand or accomplish the task of destroying a wand the axe gains a magical bonus.
+1 increase to hit prob and damage (traveling to wand wielders lair)
+1 increase to hit prob and damage (defeat a wand wielders henchmen)
+1 increase to hit prob and damage (in the lair of wand wielders)
+1 increase to hit prob and damage (in combat with wand wielders)
* Note: The bonus are accumulative while on the purpose of destroying a wand. The effect ends once a wand is destroyed until another it started.

Take two or more of the magic item modifications and combine to make the item both memorable and useful. These makes the item much more wondrous and interesting.

'I vow by my Axe of Wand Woe to the lord of the forge, to chop the Wand of Wickedness in two!' said Maltag the Dwarf. With that the axe hummed with the need to clever wands and be came razor sharp. Maltag marched towards the wizards tower.

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