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#1 Brimgeth

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:32 PM

Hi,

What's your take on enchantments? I've only glossed over the rules but I noted that it says most magic items are a hold over from an ancient time and the knowledge to produce them has now being lost.

Now in Stormbringer (1st to 3rd ed), demons and elementals were bound to a material item in effect making it enchanted in some way (at least that's how I perceived it). Also there are a number of other fantasy rpgs that detail how a magic item can be produced given materials, time to research and power of the wizard creating the item. I'd like to allow a sorcerer this capability.

Do you have a method yourself to create enchantments? Did you lift if from a different BRP product?

Thanks in advance.

#2 Mankcam

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:36 PM

Chaosium/Avalon Hill 'RuneQuest 3rd Edition' had rules for enchanting items with magic spells in order to make them ongoing functioning magic items.
I think these rules were reprinted almost word-for-word in the Chaosium BRP monograph called 'Basic Magic.'
I'm sure a lot of that could be incorporated into Magic World.
If you want other types of magic items you can also use some of the Arete rules in the recent publication of Magic World "Advanced Sorcery' - the 'Works Of The Master' feature allows crafters to create exceptional items and imbue them with their essence to a degree. Depending on how you look at it, these items could just be exceptionally well crafted items, or they could be almost magical in nature, such as Tolkienesque items.
But if I want to create items with spell-like features I tend to use the guidelines from RQ3 or BRP Basic Magic if necessary.

Edited by Mankcam, 20 April 2014 - 11:46 PM.


#3 Nakana

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:29 AM

The Big Gold Book covers the creation of magic items to a degree. In fact, you have 4 different power types to choose from.

Sadly though, it only really covers it from the mechanical side and doesn't provide much flavor about it. However, that can be left for you to decide... which could make it even cooler.

#4 Mankcam

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:41 AM

The Big Gold Book covers the creation of magic items to a degree.

Hmmm...so it does. Thanks Nakana, you can see I cut my teeth on RQ3 rather than the BPR BGB. Not sure if that makes me Seasoned or a Fogey =|
Yes, the BGB covers the mechanical process sufficiently on pages 240. No flavour whatsoever, which is what you would expect from a 'toolkit' book, but that would be entirely setting specific in any case.
Brimgeth I take it you have the BGB, or do you only have Magic World and/or Stormbringer?
Were you after the game mechanics, or just seeing what other narrative approaches people have considered?

Edited by Mankcam, 21 April 2014 - 09:46 AM.


#5 Conrad

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:38 AM

Do you have a method yourself to create enchantments? Did you lift if from a different BRP product?

Thanks in advance.

;) http://www.users.glo...chantments.html
http://www.basicrps....quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)

#6 Harshax

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:16 PM

While I was delighted to see concrete enchantment rules in RQ3 and later editions of 3.5, lately I prefer to forego enchantment rules beyond Brazier of Power and Magic Staff, unless the enchantment is a specific plot point.

That is not to say that I didn't spend years in RQ3 and Elric! Fashioning impenetrable armor and demon items from the Nth dimension, but over time, these items completely outshone my character's skills and abilities and only served to ramp up the power levels of my opponents without also improving the storyline.

After several years of 3.5, magic items completely lost their glamour, because I could just make the thing I really wanted. I definitely prefer the idea that true artifacts are beyond the power on men of this Age.
And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

#7 Nakana

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:51 PM

Hmmm...so it does. Thanks Nakana, you can see I cut my teeth on RQ3 rather than the BPR BGB. Not sure if that makes me Seasoned or a Fogey =|


It makes you a Wise One, from which there is much to be learned.

I am grateful that my first exposure to BRP was the BGB however. Mentally I'm able to separate the system from the settings easier. Throughout the book, they mention "expansions upon the BRP system in the future". I'd really love to see something like that put into print. Sort of like a Vol. 2 of BRP with more rules "switches", more spells and powers, more creatures, spot rules, etc.

#8 zomben

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:36 AM

My feeling is that Enchantments like those in the MW core rules should be unique, strange, and unreplicatable by mere mortal sorcerers.

So, as a Chronicler, if you want to include new ones in your game, just make something up.
Please note I do not actually work for Chaosium; I just do the occasional freelance editing work for them.

#9 Mankcam

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:35 PM

It makes you a Wise One, from which there is much to be learned.

I could learn to like this. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that heh heh;
If only that was true ;D

In regards to magical items I kinda like a few approaches actually. I do certainly prefer most magic items to be artefacts and plot devices, otherwise they will fall into the old school D&D trap of having power for power's sake, and it certainly outshines character skills and ultimately the character. I'm inclined to agree with Harshax on this one.

However there is a part of me (my inner munchkin), that still enjoys knowing a game mechanic process of magic item creation; even if it is only one way to create magical items. My advice is to use the Enchantment rules from the BGB or RQ, although place certain other conditions upon the creation process that are outside mere mechanics , such as having specific rare components, performing the enchantment at a particular location or date, or having some innate connection to the character.

For example, perhaps you could imbue a sword with Damage Boosting 2 (okay, that's my old RQ3 mind working...I think the equivalent spell in MW may be 'Sorcerer's Razor 2'). This would cost the enchanter 2 POW and a successful Enchantment roll. Sounds reasonable in mechanics, albeit a bit bland. However you could also stipulate that the blade has to be forged by one of noble virtue (? define such - possibly some type of minimum Allegiance score required), and can only be forged during the Solstice. Perhaps the blade should never be able to draw first blood, and in doing so incurs a Curse (2pts - GM works out what a 2 pts Curse is). Perhaps the Enchanter also needs to be the forger, so a Crafting Roll may be required, and perhaps the enchantment can only occur upon a Crafting special success or greater.

Hmmm I may be getting a bit tedious, but you get the idea. Having the game mechanic should only be the baseline to work from, and you need to add colour and difficulty to the process otherwise it becomes no challenge to create magic items. And add a sense of wonder - this is an important aspect of describing anything magical. Magic needs to be unusual, erratic, wonderful or mysterious; but never too systematic in its approach. (Unless, of course, you're playing a Gloranthan God Learner, but I digress...)

Making magic item creation into merely a skill roll and game mechanic process runs the risk of an enchanter becoming a factory line worker for magic items. Magic items will just get equated with 'superior equipment' and lose all sense of wonder. This may have been fun as an adolescent player, but it doesn't add much to the flavour of a more mature setting. If I find myself falling into this rut then I might as well return to grinding at the crafting tables in an MMO...

So although I don't mind having some mechanics, I would still have to be careful with how I use them. I think that having other ways for magic items to come into being is equally important, and the creation of such items may not always be an intentional process. I like having the sense of 'Resonance' in my game worlds, so for example a mundane item could become magical in itself if used by a historic figure etc. I agree with Ben in that that magic items should be weird and mysterious, and often unique, and are something to be in awe of or in fear of; they should never be just another piece of equipment to get lost in an adventurer's swag.

These days I tend just to make them up as I need, and its all about the character of the item and the history of such that is just as appealing as the powers of the item itself. But its not to say that you can't have a baseline process to hang all the other trappings off if you want to :)

Edited by Mankcam, 22 April 2014 - 01:22 PM.


#10 seneschal

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:23 PM

Based on the discussion, it sounds like enchanted items should be GM property, not something the PCs can come up with. They're unique, one-of-a-kind artifacts of another age, another culture and technology, and cannot be duplicated. Like kitchen toasters in Gamma World. ;)

Never was a D&D-er, so I'm thinking of enchanted items from mythology and literature. Many of them don't have origin stories; they just pop up in odd places (like your great-grandmother's canning cellar):

Trojan War Armor (The Illiad) -- It's an heirloom from your divine relatives, 147 times removed. The suit is gaudy, decorated to an extent that would seem to impair its effectiveness. Yet the craftsmanship is undeniable; it never scuffs, scars, stains or collects dust. Excellent protection, but you'll stand out on the battlefield and be more of a target.

Cap of Summoning (Wizard of Oz) -- The fur-lined cap is a bit shabby, like something found in a rummage sale. But enables the wearer to summon a vast host of intelligent winged monkeys to do his or her bidding. The catch: the owner can only use the cap three times. After that the king monkey takes it and the furry army flies off to parts unknown.

Djinn Ring/Djinn Lamp (Alladdin) -- They're a matched set, created long ago when King Solomon punished the spirits who refused to submit to him. Rubbing the ring summons a minor genie to do the wearer's bidding. He's a talkative fellow with useful information, but his abilities are limited. Rubbing the lamp summons a true magical powerhouse of a genie. He is bound to obey the owner of the lamp and can perform almost any task. But he's got a mind and an agenda of his own. An unwary, impious (by Islamic standards) or greedy master can offend him, and that's a very bad thing for the human who thought he was in charge. There is no limit to the number of times either genie can be summoned.

Seven-League Boots (Jack the Giant-Killer) -- Heavy, badly scuffed leather boots, look like they belong in a garden shed. But they enable the wearer to move 21 miles with each step. Not faster than a speeding bullet but pretty good transportation nonetheless. You could have made a killing in the parcel delivery business, but noooo, you had to go try to rescue the princess instead. The boots are big and clompy but somehow adjust to fit whoever tries them on.

#11 Brimgeth

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:16 PM

I have both the gold book and Magic World. I was looking more on the game mechanics side, and didn't even think to look through the gold book, so that's a good jump off point. I am interested in seeing narrative approaches though.

Thanks Conrad for the link, and Seneschal for the item ideas; those are great.

#12 seneschal

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:45 AM

More item ideas:

The Tinder Box (The Tinder Box) -- It is a small, waterproof, metal box with a carrying strap containing flint, steel and tinder for starting fires. But it has other uses. Strike a spark once and it summons a dog with eyes as big as saucers carrying a sack of copper pieces in its mouth. Two sparks, and a dog with eyes as big as dinner plates brings silver pieces. Three sparks, and a dog with eyes as big as platters brings gold pieces. The three dogs can all be summoned at one time and can be sent do their master's bidding -- such as carrying messages, performing a rescue, or spiriting away sleeping princesses.

Flying Ship (The Good Comrades of the Flying Ship) -- Resembles a small caravel type vessel but with wooden wings as well as sails. It can fly, hover, or sail as a regular ship. Usually responds to the commands of only one person. Is found moored in unlikely places, such as a remote forest glade, ready to serve the right person.

Knife of Well-Being (Childe Roland) -- Usually a pocket knife, but it can be a ring, pendant or some other personal object of metal. Usually given to a close friend or relative, the Knife of Well-Being remains shiny and pristine as long as the giver is safe and in good health. If the giver encounters trouble, illness or death, the knife suddenly rusts or corrodes.

Singing Harp (Jack and the Beanstalk) -- A portable Celtic-style traveling harp of fine woods and precious metals. It can play on its own, takes requests, is sentient, and can provide vocal accompaniment to its music. It tends to become attached to its current owner and will cry out for help if someone else tries to seize it.

Edited by seneschal, 24 April 2014 - 01:48 AM.


#13 Harshax

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:42 PM

These are great. The tinderbox particularly strange and wonderful.
And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp




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