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 Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:13 am

In 4e item slots I long time considered a rather meh feature... I have subsequently taken to visualizing the limit by tying it to real life mysticism and saying the magic items enchantments tie in to chackras or centers of mystic flows on the body.

The 5e playtest introduced a concept called attunement. Accessing many items greatest potency often requires your character attune them and how many items one can attune has a cap... (optionally based on charisma). I actually like this quite a bit. And figure boons and blessings would take additional attunement and really potent items or boons might take up multiple.

However I think that while a cap is simple I was considering something akin to encumberance. Carrying "too many" items or boons might penalize ones spirit in a manner similar to encumberance penalizes you for carrying too much weight.  But the question is ... what kind of penalty? exactly? Any ideas?

(I know like most penalties it might end up being just flavor or result in someone treating it as a hard cap anyway)

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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C4
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:58 pm

Hm, a healing surge penalty? A max HP penalty? An attack penalty would result in an effective hard cap for everyone except lazylords. Or maybe you auto-mark all enemies who can see all the bling you're weighed down with. Wink (They just want to relieve your burden!)

To be honest, I'm not convinced that item slots are worth the brainspace or pagespace to begin with. The game has limited bonus types so that PCs can't stack tons of bonuses onto the same stat, so item slots seem to exist more to keep PCs fashionable than to keep them balanced. (Don't want PCs runnin' around like them blinged-out rappers!)

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:00 pm

C4 wrote:
Hm, a healing surge penalty? A max HP penalty? An attack penalty would result in an effective hard cap for everyone except lazylords. Or maybe you auto-mark all enemies who can see all the bling you're weighed down with. Wink(They just want to relieve your burden!)
I am currently thinking the absolute cap might be as useable as anything.
C4 wrote:

To be honest, I'm not convinced that item slots are worth the brainspace or pagespace to begin with.
Heh, I made imagination space for it... as I said, but you may be right about page space.
C4 wrote:

The game has limited bonus types so that PCs can't stack tons of bonuses onto the same stat, so item slots seem to exist more to keep PCs fashionable than to keep them balanced. (Don't want PCs runnin' around like them blinged-out rappers!)
lol!

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:31 am

Have you checked out 13th Age? They've got an interesting take on it. Their magical items have quirks that become more prominent as you gain more magical items.

Personally I don't see much value in limiting magical items as long as there's no magic item economy. Then it's in the DM's hands to decide. That said if I had to come up with something I'd go with arcane disruptive fields. If you have X magic items you have to make a saving throw when you'd use an associated power. For every additional Y items you take a -1 penalty to the saving throw.

That said magic item property abuse would still run rampant.
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:17 am

JohnLynch wrote:
Have you checked out 13th Age? They've got an interesting take on it. Their magical items have quirks that become more prominent as you gain more magical items.
that is intriguing...
JohnLynch wrote:

Personally I don't see much value in limiting magical items as long as there's no magic item economy.
I have had pcs who liked to create magic items since the late 70s...and had countries where you could buy items in my game world almost that long and felt very under supported by the game system... till I moved on from D&D and eventually back to D&D with 4e.
JohnLynch wrote:

Then it's in the DM's hands to decide.
Economics are a tad like a chore and how much more potent are characters if you over bling them or the inverse? Its certainly less of an issue once you use inherent bonuses.
JohnLynch wrote:

That said if I had to come up with something I'd go with arcane disruptive fields. If you have X magic items you have to make a saving throw when you'd use an associated power. For every additional Y items you take a -1 penalty to the saving throw.

That said magic item property abuse would still  run rampant.
Roll once a day for interferance whether they use a power or not... interferance might disable items properties not just the active powers.

Not a bad idea ... always figured potions were likely to interfere and create unexpected results.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:25 am

Garthanos wrote:
I have had pcs who liked to create magic items since the late 70s...and had countries where you could buy items in my game world almost that long and felt very under supported by the game system... till I moved on from D&D and eventually back to D&D with 4e.
Fair enough. After Pathfinder and 4th ed's magic economy I'm more than a bit tired with the whole idea as I've seen it kill excitement for magic items (4th ed) and open up wide abuse (Pathfinder). Although the fatigue for 4th ed I blame on the fact you HAD to receive a magical item in 3 out of 4 levels, and then received a whole bunch of gold that was intended to be used on magic items.

Garthanos wrote:
how much more potent are characters if you over bling them or the inverse?
Well in 4th ed they can easily just hand out the magical items as the guidelines dictate (removing gold for in place of magical items).

Garthanos wrote:
Its certainly less of an issue once you use inherent bonuses.
A rule that came too late for our 4th ed games and one we didn't decide to put into place after the fact unfortunately.

Garthanos wrote:
Not a bad idea ... always figured potions were likely to interfere and create unexpected results.
As you know they did in pre-3rd ed (at least 2nd ed). It's fun, but is it really an issue with 4th ed potions?
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:08 am

JohnLynch wrote:

Garthanos wrote:
Not a bad idea ... always figured potions were likely to interfere and create unexpected results.
As you know they did in pre-3rd ed (at least 2nd ed). It's fun, but is it really an issue with 4th ed potions?
That is the point - some things are about flavor - finding a way to leverage flavor that isnt game disruptive can be cool. A potion might be seen as an enchantment and a general rule about buffs/enchantments interacting with one another is rather playing to trope.  Might be useful flavor for preventing the stacking of buffs.

Speaking of trope support (and magic systems from another thread) - there is a trope about spells being normally slower than steel - I dont like how it was implemented in earlier editions (too punishing at low levels and ineffective after a short bit), and I too want the option of making a protracted martial attack with a longer setup - however I do like the idea that one could implement it so that it makes how you cast a tactical choice.  

Supporting some of that flavor in 4e we do have some elements I can leverage, like I can have most NPC casters purely ritualists, there is no assumption in game world that because one is a mage, that one can perform the rapid fire thunder wave or magic missiles or fast cast a fireball.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.


Last edited by Garthanos on Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:46 am

JohnLynch wrote:
 After Pathfinder and 4th ed's magic economy I'm more than a bit tired with the whole idea as I've seen it kill excitement for magic items (4th ed)  
The ones it the players handbook being a tad meh, didnt bother me much as I think of those as the atlantean soldier gear. I assumed the common items in the book were well supposed to be almost mundane in that setting (which I feel inclined to change anyway). The players handbook did present the idea that one might have to go on special quests or use specialized rituals to even discover what some magic items could do (so you might gradually over multiple levels discover their capabilities - kind of like the weapon gaining levels). I figure the "special" items have multiple effects wrapped in one item thematic combos like fire swords that give you resistance to fire and low-light vision and have something like infectious flame weapon or a cloak of shadows with teleports and resistance to cold and area effect obscurement and full Darksight. To counter the items being more awesome that you effect - an item might actually be opening abilities in the one who gains it the guy who got the cloak of shadows was discovering his divine nature (dm discussion with player and wish lists hurray) and eventually realized he could conjure the cloak from nothingness and no-one else could use it.  After PCs get hands on something I make the ones with ritual caster end up wanting to learn lost rituals. I thought the DMG2s mentioning of alternate rewards was great for instance I also find item sets flavorful so I think magic items did get better later in 4e but in general I dont feel they limited me as a DM;

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Limiting magic items in game world sense (also boons and blessings)   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:05 am

JohnLynch wrote:
Have you checked out 13th Age? They've got an interesting take on it. Their magical items have quirks that become more prominent as you gain more magical items.

Personally I don't see much value in limiting magical items as long as there's no magic item economy. Then it's in the DM's hands to decide. That said if I had to come up with something I'd go with arcane disruptive fields. If you have X magic items you have to make a saving throw when you'd use an associated power. For every additional Y items you take a -1 penalty to the saving throw.

That said magic item property abuse would still  run rampant.

They talk about this in Adventure's Vault 1 as well.  They have a whole chapter on adjusting magic items by level and giving them quarks, which include items that can argue with players and give them crap for whatever reason or worse!

Going to have to check out 13th Age's take on it.  Might give me interesting ideas. Twisted Evil
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