No More "Normal" Magic Items

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Demiurge
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No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Demiurge »

I've decided that most permanent magic items in my games will be atypical. They'll have little quirks that can be beneficial, detrimental, both, or none of the above.

Please feel free to add items to the thread. My first contribution is:

Death Knell is a +1 heavy mace made to look like a handbell. On a roll of natural 20, it emits a sound like a large bell tolling. The sound is likely to attract nearby residents and/or wandering monsters.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

This is the sort of world in which I love to play!
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by nightstorm »

Reminds me of Tokens from Changeling the Lost .

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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Go0gleplex »

good idea for flavor.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by magick3six »

Demiurge wrote:I've decided that most permanent magic items in my games will be atypical. They'll have little quirks that can be beneficial, detrimental, both, or none of the above.

Please feel free to add items to the thread. My first contribution is:

Death Knell is a +1 heavy mace made to look like a handbell. On a roll of natural 20, it emits a sound like a large bell tolling. The sound is likely to attract nearby residents and/or wandering monsters.
On a Natural 20? On one hand I understand, it's when it is hit hardest and all...but you just ruined my Crit!?!

Maybe on a Natural 1? Why turn the 20 into a bad thing?

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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Relaxo »

A buddy of mine once dreamed up a mace where teh head of the mace was an iron sculpture of a halflings head, and it would bite you with it's vampire like fangs whenever it hit, so it was bludgeoning and piercing damage, and bloody crazy looking to boot!
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Demiurge »

magick3six wrote:On a Natural 20? On one hand I understand, it's when it is hit hardest and all...but you just ruined my Crit!?!

Maybe on a Natural 1? Why turn the 20 into a bad thing?

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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Lurker »

Demiurge wrote:I've decided that most permanent magic items in my games will be atypical. They'll have little quirks that can be beneficial, detrimental, both, or none of the above.

Please feel free to add items to the thread. My first contribution is:

Death Knell is a +1 heavy mace made to look like a handbell. On a roll of natural 20, it emits a sound like a large bell tolling. The sound is likely to attract nearby residents and/or wandering monsters.

Now you are speaking my language! I always hate "generic" magic items. "Ohhhhhh, I find a +3 sword, so what is special about it" :(

To me, a "+1" type sword is a special/unique masterwork sword and may or may not have a back story. Anything else should have a unique story and fate (and at times a unique power or 3 that ties into the story/fate). something like this

Petra's Wrath. A +2 heavy flail, +4 vs knight (including sergeant/squire types). Petr's wrath will cause the welder to go berserk (like the previous version of the barbarian) after fighting a Knight (including sergeant & squire) and receiving over half of their HP total in damage. The weapon cause the owner to dream dark dreams of a wounded arrow pierced warrior stumbling through the deep dark woods and may lead the weak willed to become paranoid- The back story, Petra was a Hassut peasant leader during a peasants revolt, leading his followers for 5 years through many battles (including numerous ambushes and 3 traitorous attempts on his life and close followers). Many times Petra' furious fighting and selfless attacks on the better armed and armored fighters was the key to the survival of his followers. Petra was lured into a false peace talk and was mortally wounded in an assassination attempt but his berserker like will allowed him to escape the attack and disappear into the dark woods, but in his flight as he was being peppered with arrows, he dropped his favored weapon (the flail)
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by cleaverthepit »

I agree, all magic weapons such should be unique and have histories and unique powers. And they should be rare.

Davis

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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Relaxo »

A silly take on this theme from my long-running High School campaign...
Taking, "Another good fighting wine is Melbourne Old-and-Yellow, which is particularly heavy and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat." from Monty Python's Flying Circus -"Australian Table Wines"

We had an Elven Fighting Wine, called "Melbind Almond Yellow" (despite listening to Monty Pyton's contractual obligations album 10,000 times, we didn't quite nail the accent, I guess).

When used as a bludgeon, the wine bottle would inflict 10d10 damage, then 9d10, 8d10, etc until after a blow of 1d10 the seal would melt off and a rather fruity yet dry sparkling white wine would be enjoyed by the victors. This was a running gag for like, 6 years (we continued playing on college breaks, we weren't left back) and the silly ass thing was like the ace in the hole at first... (ok, we're all down to like 4 hp, Hey! take out the fighting wine, it's still got 8d10 damage! Poof! monster slain!)

Finally, when we all sort of knew the campaign was wrapping up, someone brought a bottle of sparking cider to pop open after the fighting wine's enchantment was finished. Good times.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Demiurge »

Relaxo wrote:A silly take on this theme from my long-running High School campaign...
Taking, "Another good fighting wine is Melbourne Old-and-Yellow, which is particularly heavy and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat." from Monty Python's Flying Circus -"Australian Table Wines"

We had an Elven Fighting Wine, called "Melbind Almond Yellow" (despite listening to Monty Pyton's contractual obligations album 10,000 times, we didn't quite nail the accent, I guess).

When used as a bludgeon, the wine bottle would inflict 10d10 damage, then 9d10, 8d10, etc until after a blow of 1d10 the seal would melt off and a rather fruity yet dry sparkling white wine would be enjoyed by the victors. This was a running gag for like, 6 years (we continued playing on college breaks, we weren't left back) and the silly ass thing was like the ace in the hole at first... (ok, we're all down to like 4 hp, Hey! take out the fighting wine, it's still got 8d10 damage! Poof! monster slain!)

Finally, when we all sort of knew the campaign was wrapping up, someone brought a bottle of sparking cider to pop open after the fighting wine's enchantment was finished. Good times.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Dead Horse »

I know I posted this before... be damned if I can find the post...might have been the old boards? I do know they are posted in spots on my blog.
Since I wrote this I have gone even further to make every magic item in my world unique. This means armor and rings of protection... etc... nothing is generic in my world.

Weapons with a touch of the different
Plus one swords are dull. Plus 2 swords are dull. Here is a list of weapons to spice up your game.
All of these weapons are generic as to exact form. None are given pluses’, that’s for the CK/DM/DM to decide.

Alfred, a plain blade with rectangular guard and pommel, the blade is etched in runes spelling its name. A potent magic infuses this blade. The first humanoid creature killed by a new owner will animate and seek the wielder out. The zombie thus created appears at midnight the day it was killed. The corpse will perform any menial assignment from polishing armor to cleaning to dishes, as long it is a task one would assign to butler or manservant. The servant created will not spring traps open doors or in any way aid in dungeoneering enterprises. If the wielder unknowingly kills its butler the body will again reform animate and return on the following midnight. The servant thus created will not travel further then 100 yards of the swords owner. And will unerringly appear every midnight if left behind.

Sacrifice, the blade of this sword has an odd blood groove. To activate its magic the owner must spill his own blood onto the blade. Every hit point up to 5 a day will endow it with pluses to hit equal to the blood points spilt. The damage caused by this act will only heal at a rate of 1 point per day.

Smolder, the singeing blade. When wielded in combat the blade heats and smokes like a branding iron. Wounds caused by this weapon will not regenerate.

Zebellae, (elvish for rainbow) the name is carved on the hand grip of this exquisite dagger. The weapon will upon command shed any color of light the wielder desires.

Fotahn, blade of the lawful order. This blade is a signature weapon to a long faded knightly order. On a natural strike of a 20 the blade will sever the weapon arm of its opponent.

Hammerfall, A dwarven blade of fine craftsmanship. The blade carries its name in dwarf runes. On a natural strike of a 19 or 20 the blade will knock an opponent to the ground (save vs. STR).

Harsh, Gnomish crafted dagger. A successful strike from this weapon causes bleeding from the wound for 1 point a round, for a number of rounds equal to the wielders level.

Ram bow, This weapon appears to be fashioned of horn from a ram. The weapon will always have an arrow nocked and ready when its owner reaches for the string. (+2 to initiative)

Ashe, bow. Three times a week the owner may call out “rain on my foes” this causes a hail of arrows to land in a spot decided by the owner. The hail of arrows hit in a 20 foot radius of that point causing 4d6 damage. (save for half, dex).

Shadow Jack, dagger 3 times a week may cast darkness.
Glare, a shield enchanted to cause foes faced with it to blink, wink and eyes to water. This gives a bonus to armor class to the wielder.

Blazer, a woodsman bow adds +50% movement speed to wielder but causes them to eat twice as much a week.

Bee,Hind,ewe, dagger with a rough outline of a bee a hind and a ewe. 3 times a week the owner may dimension door directly behind a foe of choice.

Benefactor, mace of blessings. Anyone kneeling in reverence before the wielder and kissing his hand will gain a +1 to hit for hour. The wilder may endow this blessing a number of times a day equal to his level.

Yakeshcah, blade of fright. 3 times a week the wielder may cast fear on an opponent struck.

Sea Foam, blade of the seas. 3 times a week the owner may cast water breathing and 3 times a week the owner may cast water walking. The owner may use those powers on themselves at will.

Ixat, bearded axe. 3 times a day the owner may summon a mount. The mount summoned will remain for up to 4 hours.

Corpse Duster, mace. A successful strike causes corporeal undead to save vs. disintegration.

Thompson, throwing dagger. On a successful hit a duplicate will appear in its owners hand to be thrown next round, this cloning will continue until the thrower misses. Duplicate knives vanish after the combat.

Heel Jack, sword with a spiked pommel. On command it will dance and fight foes as directed by its owner.

No, cursed dagger. Anyone holding this weapon and preparing to strike from surprise will cause the blade to yell out “NO you will not stab them in the back in such a cowardly fashion!”

Day Bringer, Bow shoots arrows of light, bane vs undead +1d6 damage.

Gnort fralick, ogre for kidney tickler. Adds one extra die of damage on back stabs.

Life drinker, sword of limited vampiric regeneration. On a successfully damaging strike the weapon will heal its wielder 1d6 points.

Bile Spew, blade of torture. A successful strike forces a save vs con or victim vomits for two rounds -4 to hit and ac is 2 lowered.

Arcanus, the spell blade. Can hold a single spell of 1st to 3rd level, as a ring of spell storing. Energy stored in the blade will dissipate harmlessly after a week.

Spark Shower, hammer on a natural roll of 20 causes a spark shower to strike the foe hit causing an extra 1d6 damage.

Thresher, blade of reaping. Once a day the wielder may call out “fall before me like wheat” causing a whirlwind strike against all foes in range.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Relaxo »

Demiurge wrote: This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding. :mrgreen:
Eight bottles of this and you're REALLY finished.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Lord Dynel »

This is something I've always wanted to do, but just never got around to doing it. It seems like something I would just need to sit down and do. It would take some getting used to for my players, for certain, since they are used to me "generous" nature when it comes to handing out magic items. I like this idea though, because it puts more emphasis on expert crafted items. These items, in my past games get forgotten or overlooked. Placing items, and having them rare, would definitely raise their stock!

Questions, though, for people with some experience in the matter:

With no more "+1 weapons" floating around, are +1 weapons by themselves no longer in the game? If so, is every +1 weapon given a name I take it? If they're not, am I to assume that every weapon has to have some unique design, extensive history, or additional effect? I was looking at the list Dead Horse posted and, while nifty, makes everything something special. My concern would be that if everything is someting rare, nifty, and special then that becomes the new norm.

This kind of continues my last thought - It would seem that normal (i.e. by the book) intelligent weapons are commonplace with this method. If so, what becomes the new "intelligent weapon?" Do powerful weaopns like the Holy Avenger or an Oathbow, a Trident of Fish Command - weapons similar in function to the idea of special, placed, and less mundane items lose their place in the hierarchy or would ones need to be made as rewards past these?

My biggest concerns aren't from the DM side of the screen - I love the idea. I try to look at it from the player side. I can see frustration from a reduced treasure flow. I can see the loss of the "special feeling" that some of the aforementioned weapons would have granted, when found, because many or most of the weapons found now would be "special" in their own right. Maybe I'm not looking at it from the correct angle and someone can post their thoughts or experiences.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

Dynel, how about all magic items that the PCs have, continue working just fine...until they reach a certain number of times they were used? At that point, the chaos factor kicks in, and sometimes they behave (the +5 sword is a +5 sword) and sometimes they have a random chaos effect (the +5 sword is now a Sword of Whining every time a 12 or less is rolled).

Potions, of course, are always a wild card. They may LOOK and SMELL like a potion of healing, but how well preserved are they?
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Dead Horse »

In my game every weapon is unique. I am aiming for every single magic item to be unique.

Stop and think out this.... Your a wizard... in your LIFE how many magic items to expect to make? Are you going to make generic crap no one remembers? Are you going to make a masterpiece of craftsmanship and magic that will impress even other mages?

Stop and think abouit pre industrial revolution craftsmanship. People took their time and tried to create things beautiful of form and function. Every item was unique because everything was made by hand.

Wizards are ecentric and unique why would they all make generic swords? or armor?

What i did was write up a bunch of magic weapons (see list above) then when ever a magic item entered the game i choose one from the list magiced it enough to fit the level i wanted for the find (+1 to +5).

I still havent given out a sentient weapon. and my current group has a mix of weapons...
Some i created, some random rolled sword of sharpness/ frostbrand and some created through play by their party wizard or other wizards.
I put every magic weapon a 3 by 5 card to give to the player who gets the weapon. These are much more valued then any bland +5 weapon.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Relaxo »

I used to wing it, Dynel, after reading a Dragon article about this. basically, it's a magic weapon out of the book but you name it, so a Holy Avenger by the book is now called the "Fist of Markath"... Problem is, some days you wing it better than others... um... Markath was a Paladin back in the day, who upon dying prayed to move his lifeforce into his sword so he could continue to smite evil. So ok, now it's a talking HOly Avenger too. done.

stuff like that is one approach.

This breaks down if you're not feeling inspired one day and you see a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's Lo-calorie pancake syrup, and using that as a jumping off point, name the next magic weapon the "Sword of Thim Butterworth", which is met with a chorus of howling laughter and immediately becomes a running joke of how badly you suck for the next 3 years.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by serleran »

Personality is fine for items that should have them, but there are settings where magic rolls off the presses.

In any event, I like the Encylopedia Magica's (four volume set from AD&D2e) with its quirks and whatnots. Makes items "interesting" but needs to be expanded.

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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Arduin »

I can see it for powerful items. However, if one is using the non-XP method of item creation, it might not fit the setting well. Magic users could be hired to produce many low power weapons with no particular history being appropriate. Also, under that model, adding other powers costs more G.P.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Dead Horse »

With the chance of permanant con loss i dont see any wizards hiring out for mass production of magic items.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

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Dead Horse wrote:With the chance of permanant con loss i dont see any wizards hiring out for mass production of magic items.

No need for that. How do you have a chance to lose Con when creating a +1 sword? I think you need to revisit the section in M&T on creating magic items...
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

To me, a +1 sword or armour is "just" very well made armour or swords. Things have to get up to +3, for me, to be magic... or have a plus for specific types. Like a codpiece that's a +1 normally, but gives an extra +3 to an uncircumcised balding Jewish Mormon hobbit with a cold.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Lord Dynel »

I'm going to try to implement this, or something similar to this, at the start of my next campaign. My only concerns are the ones I posted before. I want magical items to be rare and I agree that they shouldn't be floating around. It does take the special out of it. I think once the players get used to the idea, there should be no issues. It might even spur the players to consider making their own items, which could spawn some good adventures, I believe. Might start in the near future making items for my next campaign so I have a good stockpile ready. 15-20 might be good. Not that I would give that many out, but just to have some on hand.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Arduin »

MormonYoYoMan wrote:To me, a +1 sword or armour is "just" very well made armour or swords. Things have to get up to +3, for me, to be magic... or have a plus for specific types. Like a codpiece that's a +1 normally, but gives an extra +3 to an uncircumcised balding Jewish Mormon hobbit with a cold.
I had one that was +2 vs. pointy toe high heels.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

Arduin wrote:
MormonYoYoMan wrote:To me, a +1 sword or armour is "just" very well made armour or swords. Things have to get up to +3, for me, to be magic... or have a plus for specific types. Like a codpiece that's a +1 normally, but gives an extra +3 to an uncircumcised balding Jewish Mormon hobbit with a cold.
I had one that was +2 vs. pointy toe high heels.
They still sell those at J. C. Penny.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Dead Horse »

No need for that. How do you have a chance to lose Con when creating a +1 sword? I think you need to revisit the section in M&T on creating magic items...

The parts about divesting part of yourself?

I guess you can consider it a bit of creative thinking. The Permanace spell has a chance of losing a con point permantly for just making a spell permanant.
I figure making a permanant magic item will do the same if not more.

Also the whole section in M&T on magic item creation speaks of hand crafting says Unique a number of times and things like cant be rushed.

I would think that all adds up to no way anyone is every going to mass perduce any magic items.

I know 3.5 and 4e drip with magic items... but which settings are magic rich enough to have masproduction of magic items?
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Arduin »

Dead Horse wrote: I guess you can consider it a bit of creative thinking. The Permanace spell has a chance of losing a con point permantly for just making a spell permanant.
I figure making a permanant magic item will do the same if not more.
Well, I'm not taking into account house rules.
Dead Horse wrote:Also the whole section in M&T on magic item creation speaks of hand crafting says Unique a number of times and things like cant be rushed.

I would think that all adds up to no way anyone is every going to mass perduce any magic items.

I know 3.5 and 4e drip with magic items... but which settings are magic rich enough to have masproduction of magic items?
You can make as many as you can per the time limits in the rules. XP based cost or GP based cost. I don't recall saying to make more than that...
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Dead Horse »

You did say hire a mage to to make "many" low powered items.
I was just pointing out from the M&T magic item rules. No one is ever going to be making many of any magic item.

If your housruling a bunch of mages sitting around cranking out plus one swords more power to you. By the book that cant happen.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Go0gleplex »

Some interesting points. However, I prefer to houserule magic item creation in my world as opposed to the book. What mage would cast permanence or burn xp just to create a magic item someone else is likely to use? That, and house ruling allows for some interesting role playing activities. Rather than having the mage simply cast a few spells, have them journey to the peak of Mt Rotspurr and there bathe the blade in the lightening of the storms that frequent the place after annointing it with quicksilver and powdered ogre's blood, chanting the binding spell (a spell from my campaign world). What can be more fun, is having the player work out the ritual themselves and, as the CK, determining the effects thereof when completed.

Anyhow...more fuel for the fire.
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Re: No More "Normal" Magic Items

Post by Arduin »

Dead Horse wrote: No one is ever going to be making many of any magic item.

~2 weeks to make a +1 sword. Sure they are if someone has the G.P. I have no idea which rule you are looking at though.
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