magic item identification? What's Your take?

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MonsterSlayer
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magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by MonsterSlayer » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:29 pm

Looking for a bit of feedback if you want.

I love the rare and unique magic items encouraged by DCC but either I forget it or there doesn't seem to be a low level spell to identify the properties of magic items.

Even if there is, do you use it or do you have another method for characters to discover the magical properties of an item.

Do they have to use it? Do they have to take it and pay a sage? Does it just glow and you just tell the players "it does such"? Do they have to "sleep on it" like recent editions of D&D?

I prefer the use it and find out method. But sometimes I make the items so specific that the circumstances to show the magic do not come around very fast. Obviously it can take a while for a "Helm of the Gills" (aka water breathing) to show its usefulness for a while. But it can still look cool with green tinted metal flaring out from the neck protector of the helm.
You get the drift...

What's your take?

oncelor
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by oncelor » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:47 pm

A result of 24+ on "Detect Magic" does the trick: "Further, the cleric receives a very precise understanding of the magic’s strength and nature: he knows an item is a +2 sword or that a door is guarded by a level 3 ward portal spell."

I decided I didn't always like it that the higher level characters could so easily determine the precise nature of magic, so I've ruled that the reverse of "Detect Magic" is a sort of "Scramble Magic Aura" spell that can be used to disguise a magical aura. I've also created a category of "minor artifacts" that radiate whatever sort of aura the magical item chooses to radiate.

Gameogre
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by Gameogre » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:23 am

I'm kinda of two minds.

I like the idea of having the guys sweat it out,trying different things,risking curses,acting silly"I put the ring on and try to fly! I run down the hall,am I faster? I wave my arms a lot,now try and hit me!"

On the other hand sometimes I just wish to get it over with,its a blue glowing shortsword with Strike True inscribed in Elvish down the blade,it's a +1 shortsword,+2 verse Chaotics.


I think Detect magic goes a long ways towards handling this.

oncelor
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by oncelor » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:01 pm

Yeah, my category of "minor artifacts" exists just so I can foil the 24+ result of the Detect Magic spell, but only when I want to :-)

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cjoepar
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by cjoepar » Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:48 am

MonsterSlayer wrote:... do you use it or do you have another method for characters to discover the magical properties of an item....
The first couple of games I ran, I gave the characters access to a library in the city where (for a price) they could do some research to try to identify something about a magic item. They rolled a d20 modified by INT, Level & LUCK and then referenced a chart that provided the opportunity to discover some or all of the qualities based on the result. One time items, like potions had a bonus to the roll so they were more likely to be identified. That setup worked okay, but in the end, I prefer the other methods of using the Detect Magic spell, or asking a Patron or other powerful entity. Sacrifices of gold or other magic items to modify the rolls have helped me to keep the party poor.

donpimpom
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by donpimpom » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:32 pm

I stick to this line ""Further, the cleric receives a very precise understanding of the magic’s strength and nature: he knows an item is a +2 sword or that a door is guarded by a level 3 ward portal spell."
"understanding the magic's strength" don't means "perfect knowledge on how to use it's magic"

"...yes its a sword +2, ...and seems to contain an air elemental allowing you fly under certain circumstances"

if there is an activation word, or a specific action to perform etc, I don't give these details with a simple detect magic 24+, I let them understand it's something there, and has to be learned somehow, by luck, by ropleplaying, by spending time or efforts, questing for it, whatever.
It may seem cruel, IMHO increases the fun and gives personality to both the item and the owner

oncelor
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Re: magic item identification? What's Your take?

Post by oncelor » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:44 pm

I like that, though I think I would change the text of "Detect Magic" to "the Judge tells you some useful things about your magic item." :-)

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