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Magic item advancement?


jux

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I am wondering if in BRP there are any rules for spending advancement points for magic items?

I think I heard it from Ken and Robin podcast show about under-used game mechanics. It would make sense when a character finds a magic sword, he first is inexperienced of wielding it's magic, but he can learn it's powers and be more efficient with it. In BRP you can only advance a skill and in this example it would be something that represent sword fighting, but it would be cool if you could open up new "levels"/powers for gear as well.

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I think you could incorporate the Arete system from Advanced Sorcery to accomplish this. In your example of a magic sword, the more proficient the character is with it, unlocks its inherent potential. 

Perhaps individual items like your magic sword should have a seperate skill, like martial arts does. If the character rolls under his skill with a long sword AND rolls under his skill with the magic sword it eventually unlocks other innate but previously unknown properties.

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1 hour ago, tooley1chris said:

Perhaps individual items like your magic sword should have a seperate skill, like martial arts does. If the character rolls under his skill with a long sword AND rolls under his skill with the magic sword it eventually unlocks other innate but previously unknown properties.

I like this idea, it's a lot simpler than mine which I sketch out below.

I did have one thought about spending advancement points, based on the Elan system from Stormbringer 3. A priest or sorcerer would accumulate Elan by acting in the best interests of his deity. Elan could then be used for Divine Intervention or traded in for 1 POW point for 50 Elan points. Elan could never exceed 99%. I thought to expand this idea and allow Advancement Points from successful skill rolls to be saved into an Experience Pool. Fifty or 100 Experience Pool points could increase any characteristic (not just POW) by one point (up to racial maximums). This way the player had to decide between increasing skills (an immediate benefit) or increasing a stat (which takes longer).

Now, building upon this, the character would save points into the Experience Pool, then spend some of them to unlock the weapon's abilities. The sword grants an immediate +5% to the character's attack skill. Ten Experience Pool points might then unlock an additional "+5% versus skeletons and zombies"; a further twenty points could unlock the sword's "+25% versus Revenants" ability.

I see two bugs with this idea, however.

First, the GM needs to make the sword and decide how many advancement points are needed to unlock each ability. This adds more work for the GM but the sword becomes almost an NPC (which some blades like Stormbringer itself certainly were).

Second, the character needs some way of finding out those abilities (divination magic, haunted dreams coming from the sword itself, research into dusty scrolls). This is a Good Thing, as unlocking "the riddle of steel" becomes one of the character's campaign goals.

What do you think?

Colin

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A while back I played in a lengthy Earthdawn campaign and I really liked how magic items were handled in that game. Magical items could be anything and their powers came from the valiant deeds of their owners. For a new owner to access those powers the item's history had to be discovered/researched and reenacted to some degree... unlocking new powers. The first step was usually learning the item's name. So magic items reflected the history of the setting and required a relationship be built with them. It really pushed the feel of the item being unique and special.

In a way it reminded me of joining a cult in RQ. A two-way relationship that can grow and grant access to new resources.

Earthdawn also had 'group items' that were a focus of a pact between individuals and gave those bearing them various magical aid to actions taken in the interest of the group, even better if all in the group are present. IIRC such items required an investment of something similar to a POW point, as Chaot's excellent ideas also suggest.

Noticeably, power advancement with such items couldn't always be done quickly or reliably... and the upper levels of power often remained unattainable and/or unknown.

 

 

Edited by Simlasa
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