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 Post subject: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:23 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Somewhere between creating a "magic item super center" and the hard cold reality of a magicless world, are there ways to give characters a little boost and/or protection?

I'm considering some items that, while not necessarily magical, provide a little help here and there.

Masterwork weapons and tools are an easy one - though I'd like to make them a little more temporary. I don't want to add any more "dual-entry accounting" to the game, but I think that a natural 1 on an attack or skill check with a masterwork tool or weapon removes its masterwork properties (or a critical hit on someone using masterwork armor/shield).

More difficult are talismans and charms. These have existed in every culture (and still do today), and I'd like to use them without making things crazy. What I'm considering is a talisman or charm provides some minor boost (a Luck point that can be burned, a +1 to FORT saves, etc) and can only be used once. I'm further considering making the successful use of the item be based on the user's "belief." I don't know what that should be -- maybe a roll, though I'd hate to add another roll, maybe a character/roleplaying thing (they always take their charm out and look at it, pet it, etc), maybe just a secret DM roll when a situation comes up where the talisman would affect play.

Anyway, just considering some non-magical assistance for the poor characters wandering around out there in the crashing currents of chaos.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:47 am 
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Funny that you mentioned it. I've been working on an idea for these very same things. They're going to focus on Luck. I'm calling them Lucky Items. They can be weapons or charms, and they give temporary bonuses that can be burned. Eventually they lose their special qualities over time and use, but on some rare occasions they may become Legendary, and essentially magical enchanted items. The situation would have to be perfect for this to happen, though. And on some occassions a mundane item can become a Lucky item.

For example, imagine a sword that you find, and during the first fight you use it, you roll a 20 and take down an evil lich king. Talk about luck. If you declare it as such, maybe it is! Give it some Luck Points that can be burned over time just like regular luck. Maybe 5 or 6 levels later, towards the end of your career, it has only one luck point left, and you need to defeat some demon from out of time and space and you roll need to burn that final point to send it back to oblivion, I'd say that weapon would become Legendary.

There are details to figure out obviously. But I'm working on this idea, and it'll be found in Issue 2 of my zine!

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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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reverenddak wrote:
Funny that you mentioned it. I've been working on an idea for these very same things. They're going to focus on Luck. I'm calling them Lucky Items. They can be weapons or charms, and they give temporary bonuses that can be burned. Eventually they lose their special qualities over time and use, but on some rare occasions they may become Legendary, and essentially magical enchanted items. The situation would have to be perfect for this to happen, though. And on some occassions a mundane item can become a Lucky item.

For example, imagine a sword that you find, and during the first fight you use it, you roll a 20 and take down an evil lich king. Talk about luck. If you declare it as such, maybe it is! Give it some Luck Points that can be burned over time just like regular luck. Maybe 5 or 6 levels later, towards the end of your career, it has only one luck point left, and you need to defeat some demon from out of time and space and you roll need to burn that final point to send it back to oblivion, I'd say that weapon would become Legendary.

There are details to figure out obviously. But I'm working on this idea, and it'll be found in Issue 2 of my zine!


I like it. Very much like historical "magical" items were thought as such. Think of the spear of longinus, Charlemagne's sword, etc. I must think on this.

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The Mystic Bull: Our new publishing website. Have a submission? PM me.
In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer: 12 Short Adventures for DCC!
The God-Seed Awakens: 3rd Level Adventure for DCC. New patron, new spells, lots of new monsters and the living weapons of the Empire of Thal!
My Gamer Profile


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

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My campaign includes a weapon that allows a wielder to gain a bonus as a thief of equivalent level if when he spends luck wielding the weapon.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:37 pm 
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I like the ideas in this thread! One other thought came to mind as I was reading the ideas above: another way to handle talismans and charms would be to require the bearer to burn luck then have the charm amplify the effect. So the more lucky you are to start with, the more luck you can get from a charm. Perhaps a lucky bear's claw adds doubles the value of any luck expended on a damage roll, or a lucky crystal doubles any luck burned on a spell check, or a prized locket gives a +1 to any Foritude save...

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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Although I don't hand out magic items like candy, I consider magic weapons of +1 or +2 not to be magical but made keener (is that even a word?) by magical means.

Take the scene in the movie Dragonslayer for example, when he takes a really good spear made by a blacksmith and makes it better by using his amulet to heat the blade better and letting the smith hammer it. Does it radiate magic after that or is it just a good weapon as a result of magic heat?


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Swords like my favorite, Stormbringer (as seen on my avatar) are TOTALLY magical unlike my above example.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Karaptis wrote:
Although I don't hand out magic items like candy, I consider magic weapons of +1 or +2 not to be magical but made keener (is that even a word?) by magical means.

Take the scene in the movie Dragonslayer for example, when he takes a really good spear made by a blacksmith and makes it better by using his amulet to heat the blade better and letting the smith hammer it. Does it radiate magic after that or is it just a good weapon as a result of magic heat?

I took this approach a few years ago for a Pathfinder game. The group howled so when I took away the magic mart, that I reintroduced Items of Quality up to +2 nonmagical. They didn't like not being able to "fill all the slots", but they were appeased with being able to get "decent" arms and armor. In DCC? No way I'd go higher than +1, and then you're dealing with the likes of Masamune, Hattori Hanzo, and Domingo Montoya.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:15 pm 
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ROFL! Domingo Montoya ,awesome! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Ok, I just made a table to determine if a found item is Magic, Lucky or junk. These are based on the numbers found in the Core Rules. They're no-way comprehensive to what you actually might find. I may expand the results, and included it in Crawl! No.2, since it's the Loot! issue. I've been working on treasure tables and Lucky Items for a while now. All the numbers make my head hurt. I think the math/odds are right. But they might need to be checked. But yeah, here's a sneak peek:

What's that you found? (I'd also consider modifying the rolls by Luck.)

Roll d100 Mundane or Lucky/Magic (1 in 100)
1-99 It’s Mundane
100 Roll on Lucky or Magic

Roll d10 Lucky or Magic
1-9 It’s Lucky
10 Roll on Magic Item

Roll d10 Magic Item Type (1 in 10,000)
1-9 It’s a Wizard Staff
10 Roll on Magic Other

Roll d100 Magic Other (1 in 50,000)
1 -49 It’s a Potion or Scroll (50/50)
50-98 It’s a Weapon
99-100 Roll on +2 Item

Roll d100 +2 Item (1 in 250,000)
1-99 Its +2 Weapon
100 Roll on +2 or better

Roll d100 +2 or Better (1 in 250,000)
1-99 It’s +2 Weapon
100 Roll on +3 Weapon, Rod or Wand

Roll d100 +3 Weapon, Rod or Wand
1-33 It’s a +3 Weapon
34-66 It’s a Magic Rod
67-99 It’s a Magic Wand
100 It’s a +4 Weapon

I don't know how to quantify an Epoch, so I skipped the +5 item.

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Reverend Dakota Jesus Ultimak, S.S.M.o.t.S.M.S., D.M.

(Dungeon) Master In Chief of Crawl! fanzine. - http://www.crawlfanzine.com/

"[...] there is no doubt that Dungeons and Dragons and its imitators are right out of the pit of hell." - William Schnoebelen, Straight talk on Dungeons & Dragons


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons of Quality, Talismans and Charms
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Also if you wanted magic items to be way more rare and powerful than masterwork, or weapons of quality. You could give varying degrees of quality as simple +'s and magic items could be +dice. So a above average sword could be +1 to hit and damage, while a low level magic item would be +1 dice to hit and damage.
The dice chain is there, might as well use it. :)
Just a thought.


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