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L. Marcus

Master craftsmen creating magic items

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I'd like to pick all y'all's brains, please. I'm particular to a magic system where master craftsmen can create magic items, in a world I'd like to call on the low end of High Fantasy. I'd like to expand on the Fine Weapons and Fine Armors rules in Fantasy Hero (5E, but I guess 6E has a similar lists). No really over-the-top effects, but handy none the less -- you know, cloaks with bonuses to Concealment rather than invisibility. Items should be semi-rare, with perhaps one per group member, and the creation of one taking a substantial amount of time -- months -- and not being routine; a master blade smith can forge a broadsword of demon slaying once in their career, and that spontaneously and at need. One does not go to the nearest market stall and order an axe of flame and have it ready next Thursday.

 

So, what I'm after is suggestions for abilities for weapons, armor, jewelry, clothing, and sundry items of equipment. Also, considerations for the effects on the game world by such a system what I haven't thought of.

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Sundry Items of Equipment

 

Quill of Penmanship:  (Total: 4 Active Cost, 2 Real Cost) +2/+2d6 Striking Appearance (vs. Anyone reading what the character writes) (4 Active Points); IAF Fragile (-3/4), Conditional Power Only effects literate people reading the message (-1/2) (Real Cost: 2)

This quill pen writes so smoothly and clearly that it grants a bonus to Burocratics when filling out forms, to High Society if sending invitations to a ball, even to Charm if writing a love note.

 

Restful Bed:  (Total: 5 Active Cost, 2 Real Cost) Life Support  (Immunity: All terrestrial vermin) (5 Active Points); IAF Bulky (-1) (Real Cost: 2)

Bedbugs, fleas, and all manner of pests, cannot abide this well made article of furniture. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

 

Bed of Recovery:  (Total: 24 Active Cost, 8 Real Cost) Life Support  (Immunity All terrestrial diseases; Immunity: All terrestrial vermin) (10 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Hour, Only to Activate, -1 1/2), IAF Bulky (-1) (Real Cost: 3) <b>plus</b> +2 with CON Roll (4 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Hour, Only to Activate, -1 1/2), IAF Bulky (-1) (Real Cost: 1) <b>plus</b> Regeneration (1 BODY per Week), Can Heal Limbs (7 Active Points); IAF Bulky (-1) (Real Cost: 3) <b>plus</b> Darkness to Touch Group 1m radius (3 Active Points); IAF Bulky (-1), Limited Power only blocks pain and discomfort (-0) (Real Cost: 1)

Any ill or injured person could hardly ask for a better place to rest and recover than this bed.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Tagline of palindromedaries

 

 

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By any chance, have you looked at the 6E Wondrous Treasure PDFs? https://www.herogames.com/forums/search/?q="wondrous treasure"&type=nexus_package_item&updated_after=any&sortby=relevancy

 

If you have no objection to using 5E, there's always the official Enchanted Items: https://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/229-enchanted-items-pdf/

 

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That is a portion of the Jolrhos Field Guide which I hope will finally be out by the end of this spring.  Crafting sections detailing how to make various items from raw materials players can collect or purchase, including alchemy, blacksmithing, etc.  Some materials are innately magical in themselves and can, if properly crafted, result in magical items.  All gems for example have latent magic in them that can be coaxed out through proper handling and crafting.  Some ores are magical, and of course alchemists break down items into their purest elemental form which is innately enchanted.  These can be combined into items of some power merely through skill and talent.

 

Also included is a section on enchanting, which gives methods for deliberately making magical items, of course.

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21 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

By any chance, have you looked at the 6E Wondrous Treasure PDFs? https://www.herogames.com/forums/search/?q="wondrous treasure"&type=nexus_package_item&updated_after=any&sortby=relevancy

 

If you have no objection to using 5E, there's always the official Enchanted Items: https://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/229-enchanted-items-pdf/

 

Haven't given those a look, really. Maybe I ought to, but I've gotten the impression that the items are too overpowered for my taste. Does anyone know of any reviews?

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Thanks! If G-A's review lists representative items from the Enchanted Items, the book is not for me. Too much D&D; I want more low-key magic, something that gives a bit of flavor but doesn't end up pulling the whole game into its orbit.

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I'm of a similar mind, though I probably favor even a lower level of magic than you do.  I'm trying to build a game similar to an old computer game from Microprose called "Darklands".  In the Darklands setting (medieval Germany), various cities have reputations for having craftsmen who are skilled at producing particular types of goods.  One city is known for it's armorers, another for swordsmiths, another for gunsmiths, etc.  So, if you want really good armor, you have to go to City A.  For a particularly fine sword, you go to the craftsmen in city B; and so on.  You can decide and build whatever properties you want the armor to have.  Maybe the armor is more durable, lighter than normal, or provides and extra point or two of PD and/or ED (maybe it weighs more than normal, maybe not).  In my mind, none of these things *requires* that the item be considered magical -- they're simply high quality.  Any skilled / knowledgeable of the item could recognize that quality (perhaps receiving a bonus to some sort of evaluate skill roll).

 

For me, the appeal of a (relatively) low-magic setting is that the players have more reasons to acquire skills and knowledge rather than simply expecting the wizard to cast a spell to solve every problem.

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Darklands, yeah. I remember that one -- our company secretary played it back in '95! Those were the RSAF days ... :yes:

 

... I wonder if they have it on Steam?

 

Perhaps some background for the world I have in mind is in order. I had a thread for it, but I think it's been devoured by a crash or two a couple of years ago. Magic is innate to the stuff that makes up the world, a propensity for matter and forces to respond to a sentient being's will. It is hard doing, and is more a spiritual than a intellectual feat -- the Skills necessary are based on EGO, rather than INT. Anyone can learn petty magics, small spells worth 5 to10 Active Points -- and in a real sense, most Skills require certain rituals of magic to work smoothly. The people of a village perform rites for plowing, sowing, and harvesting; a smith mumbles a spell when he first thrusts a bar of iron into the forge for a new scythe; miners offer libations for their mine's ruler at the start of their day. Anyone stupid enough to try these everyday tasks without these rituals, face a couple of dice worth of Bad Luck and/or a pretty significant malus to relevant Skill rolls.

 

And then there's grand magics. For these spells one must have a certain sensitivity for the flows of magic in the world. It's bought as a Detect with Sense to begin with, belonging to the Unusual Sense Group, and can be expanded with other Adders with XP, like Range, Enhanced Arc of Perception, Discriminatory, and so on. This Talent one can be born with, or have it bestowed by some deity, or acquire it in very rare circumstances. There is one Skill for casting per magic tradition: Wizardry (mostly elemental magic, including manipulation of magic itself); Sorcery (for influencing minds -- highly taboo); Animism (for manipulating plants and animals -- think druids); Demonolatry (for spells granted by certain entities that means no good to neither the world or its inhabitants); and others. Mostly Spells would be Powers bought through a Multipower with flexible slots for each tradition, whose Pool size would be determined by the relevant Skill -- 15 Active Points per Skill point over 10; a mage with Wizardry 13- could have a Wizardry MP of 45 Active Points. Bigger Spells can be bought, subject to GM approval and certain other limits.

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Darklands was amazing fun back in the day.  I fondly recall having to do the witch battle with 3 players because you couldn't bring a 4 member party to that encounter w/out the game crashing.

 

Until you got it patched....

 

Which required them to physically mail you a floppy disk...

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How about:

 

Boots that remove the accumulation of LTE due to marching, they are so comfortable.

Boots that reduce the chance of slipping due to environmental conditions.

A weapon that provide +1D6 to PRE attacks.

A cloak that provides +1 DCV because it swirls so beautifully and hides where you are actually standing

A cloak that delivers +2 rPD against slashing or stabbing weapons due to the steel mesh woven through it.

 

 

Doc

 

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I'm fond of things that have innate bonuses that are part of their construction rather than magical enchantments.  The portion in Fantasy Hero on how a really good blacksmithing roll can make a superior weapon or piece of armor is that kind of thing.  Its not magical, its just that good.

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On 2/13/2019 at 2:29 PM, Doc Democracy said:

How about:

 

Boots that remove the accumulation of LTE due to marching, they are so comfortable.

Boots that reduce the chance of slipping due to environmental conditions.

A weapon that provide +1D6 to PRE attacks.

A cloak that provides +1 DCV because it swirls so beautifully and hides where you are actually standing

A cloak that delivers +2 rPD against slashing or stabbing weapons due to the steel mesh woven through it.

 

 

Doc

 

 

Hiking Boots:  (Total: 7 Active Cost, 3 Real Cost) Naked Advantage: Costs Endurance Only To Activate up to 7 m Running (+1/4), No Gravity Penalty (+1/2) for up to 7 Active Points, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (7 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Turn (Post-Segment 12), Only to Activate, To pull boots on; -3/4), IIF (-1/4) (Real Cost: 3)

 

Gripping Boots:  (Total: 10 Active Cost, 3 Real Cost) Clinging (normal STR) (10 Active Points); Limited Power Only to not lose footing in slippery conditions (On a more or less horizontal surface; -1 1/2), Extra Time (1 Turn (Post-Segment 12), Only to Activate, To pull boots on; -3/4), IIF (-1/4) (Real Cost: 3)

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says just a couple of items Lucius cobbled together

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A weapon that would ordinarily require a STR Min, but either enchanted or so incredibly-well designed as to remove (or reduce) that STR Min.

 

A monocle that translates written languages (or certain ones) 

A powder that when tossed in the air and the enchantment made the outlines of hidden doorways will glow slightly-- say, +3 PER to locate such things.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

A weapon that would ordinarily require a STR Min, but either enchanted or so incredibly-well designed as to remove (or reduce) that STR Min.

 

A monocle that translates written languages (or certain ones) 

A powder that when tossed in the air and the enchantment made the outlines of hidden doorways will glow slightly-- say, +3 PER to locate such things.

 

 

Powder of Portal Perception:  (Total: 7 Active Cost, 1 Real Cost) Access (Hidden (-2 to Skill Rolls)) (7 Active Points); OAF Expendable (Very Difficult to obtain new Focus; -1 1/2), 3 Charges (-1 1/4), Gestures (Requires both hands; -1/2), Incantations (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Did a palindromedary eat my tagline?

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Armor of Immortality (or slow aging) - a must for any despot or any king who doesn't have an heir but it'll look suspicious eventually if he never removes the armor.

 

I like the idea of armor which has an aversion to taking damage. Maybe something like a small bonus to DCV. But when the armor would have taken more than twice its BODY in damage in a single blow, it instead the SFX moves the owner's body so that the owner takes the blow on an unarmored portion of his body. You really think of the role of armor as to be protection for you, instead this armor subverts that expectation by protecting itself.

 

Boots of the Metal Detector - Detect refined metals on the surface or buried underground. Finds lost coins, buried treasures, swords and belt buckles from ancient battlesites, etc. This item can be as useful or as time-consuming and useless as the GM needs it to be.

 

Snapshot Monocle - Activate it to take a single picture of any item or area. Activate it again to see the projected image. Mostly considered a tool for burglars and forgers but it has been used effectively from time to time to help identify weaknesses in fortifications.

 

Opera Glasses of Honor - Detects the personality trait of "having a good character". Mostly used by high society types who want to avoid hiring thieves and scoundrels to perform sensitive tasks.

 

Ring of Faster-Than-Light Travel - A popular suicide device among the rich and famous because it is thought to be painless...but no one really knows since the body immediately disappears when the ring is activated.

 

McGuillicuddy's Cap of Conjuring - A Transform with a variable result (the air inside the hat into whatever). This is a golfing cap version of the classic magician hat where the magician pulls something unexpected out of the hat. Only common adventuring items and supplies can be pulled from the hat (the user chooses what he gets). The items often look odd which will make people reluctant to buy the items so the Cap can't be used to easily create infinite income. Uses charges. For more fun with the theme, add a magic roll so that the user doesn't always get exactly what he is trying to pull from the hat. Also make the user wear a kilt to recharge the item if men wearing dresses isn't socially accepted in the campaign city. Food pulled from the hat is nutritious to eat, but like everything else pulled from the hat, never lasts more than a day before evaporating into thin air. (I liked giving my players Happy Meals and carbonated soda, for example, rather than roast beef and wine.)

 

Riding Crop of Summoning Batman - Note: a "batman" is a term referring to the personal servant of a military officer. Make sure the players discover the name long before discovering what the riding crop actually does.

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Cap of Wisdom (aka The Thinking Cap) - Most often used by tinkerers or wizards. Or by kings who want to gain the reputation of being wise and benevolent ("Wow, King Frederick has a Cap of Wisdom!"). +5 INT (20 minutes of extra time but only to activate -1 1/4). The extra time is for meditation and attunement to synch up the Cap with the wearer's brain.

 

Long Johns of Warmth - Life Support vs Cold

 

Swim Fins and Snorkel

 

Healing Blanket - Gives +5 CON only on rolls to resist the effects of diseases and poison. A popular item among healers and traveling priests who are only minor adepts.

 

Tool Belt of the Carpenter - Gives PS: Carpenter (note that this is the professional skill rather than a knowledge skill). Such items are designed to give people an unearned expertise which might normally require a long apprenticeship. Countless variations on this item can be made such as "Apron of the Cook". These items can be pricey but are commissioned from time to time by people of the merchant class with children who are not particularly skilled in the family business or by minor nobles for their wastrel second sons who are not in line to inherent the family's property and title (PS: Warrior or PS: Knight can help build a reputation and land the son an appropriate marriage offer).

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Portable Shrine - The name for this item varies according to which religious tradition created it but basically the item is a tent or sweat lodge which has the ability to Change Environment: Consecrate Ground. How useful being on consecrated ground happens to be depends upon the opponent you face. For example, some undead cannot enter consecrated ground at all, while others only sustain some kind of penalty. Also, some deities prefer prayers to take place on consecrated ground so having the item may be of more use to followers of some religious traditions than to other people.

 

Usually the Portable Shrine is too short for humans to stand upright, can comfortably sit up to three people on the floor, or can fit one prone person plus one sitting person (the last configuration typically used during healing when the priest suspects some magical or demonic influence might be warded off by getting the patient to consecrated ground).

 

More powerful shrines can consecrate a substantial part of the surrounding area but, fairly often, only the walls and interior of the tent are consecrated. The affected radius of some Portable Shrines have been known to decrease with age but it isn't known whether this is an unavoidable design flaw or just a flaw which has cropped up in the making of some of the devices.

 

====

 

Change Environment: Consecrate Ground

OAF: tent/tabernacle/sweat lodge

Extra time (only to activate) plus five hours (only if I'm the person who is trying to put up the tent) plus extra two hours (only if I'm doing it in the rain)

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