Thursday, July 2, 2009

Items that grow with you (other than fungal rot)

Today's flaw isn't even much of a flaw for a lot of people. But for anyone who likes to collect things of no practical or current use (every gamer with a gamer shelf) this game fix might appeal to you. If you look at most fantasy RPG's, how many times does a 20th level character still have much of his first level gear? In the end it tends to get swapped out for the magic items of heroes past. In piecemeal, heroes tend to have their epic tales of daring rub off on their mundane equipment. This takes the form of Trademark Items, Lucky Items and Holy Relics.


Trademark Items are the domain of warriors. When a warrior completes an epic battle, or a fairly large battle and then rolls his level or less on 2d6, he can choose one of his distinctive mundane items to be his personal trademark item. A trademark item will keep growing as the warrior fights in more and more battles, giving a bonus to his awesomeness score (resulting in more re-rolls) and even giving more XP (he's more famous). A warrior can only ever have one trademark item, and as a slight bonus for choosing a trademark weapon (thus losing the benefit of using a magic weapon) at level 10, the warriors trademark weapon counts as a magical weapon (blessed by the fates) for the purposes of harming creatures requiring a magical weapon to harm.


Lucky Items are the domain of thieves. When a thief completes an epic heist,assassination, or stealth mission (or simply a large heist, assassination or mission and then rolls 7 on 2d6) the thief may choose to have one of his mundane items become a lucky item. Lucky Items give benefits such as bonus luck points, re-rolls when using the item or a bonus to "luck ability checks". An item can become lucky multiple times (making it more lucky) or a thief could end up with multiple lucky items. The item upgraded should be one most critical to the success of the mission, if no item clearly sticks out, allow the player to choose an item. The downside with lucky items is that if a thief loses a lucky item they suffer a penalty equal to the bonus until they regain the item, or a season has passed and they have given up on regaining the item.

Holy Relics are the domain of priests. Anytime a priest (or pious individual in a state of grace, but that's another matter) completes a large task of their faith, they have a small chance of one of their personal mundane items turning into a holy relic (doubles on 2d6). If they complete an epic task, one or more of their items automatically becomes a relic. Relics either gain an increase in effectiveness in the manner of magic items or by reducing the piety costs with calling forth specific miracles. An item can be "upgraded" more than once or a priest can end up with multiple relics. The item upgraded should be one most critical to completing the task and upgraded in a way similar to its role in completing the task. If there is no clear item to choose from, the player should choose.


Wizards can build their own magical items, and Bards are primarily about people, not items.


Why is this good?

1.) Its something fun to check for at the end of the session. Seems obvious but important.
2.) It gives players an extra sense of ownership of their deeds. A permanent memento of their actions.
3.) It works as a motivator for class goals.
4.) It gives players more attachment to their characters, they don't have randomly rolled boots of elven-kind, no he's got Ali's lucky boot's that held true when he had to run across that flaming bridge.
5.) In recurring campaigns its great for new players to find the personal items of their previous characters, 'The holy wineskin of St.Raynard' or 'The banner of Sir Reginald' are big hits to their players and their new characters.

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