Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Trading levels for magic items

A random thought occured to me today for a really simple way to handle magic item creation for items with plus values. Allow a player to trade a level from their character, to create a magical item (using their own life force) of a plus value equal to the number of levels being traded.

Example; a level 3 character could make a sword + 2 and go back to being a level 1 character, or a sword +1 and go back to being level 2.

Another example: a level 20 character could drop to 15 and get a sword +5.

Other, more special items (that do not have + values) would have to be handled by a different system, or the DM could flat out disallow the creation of them, perhaps all special magical items were made by an ancient civilisation and the art of creating them has now been lost.

11 comments:

DemonIllusionist said...

That's how it used to be done in older editions - magic items cost xp.

The problem with that is that everyone wants magic items, but usually only one or two characters are capable of making them. So you end up screwing over those characters, because they have to keep giving up xp/levels for everyone else's items.

Ben said...

That's an interesting idea, however it will need level drain and cash or say if you want a +1 sword etc then you will need to get the raw materials first, then find someone willing to do it, then level drain (but use a dice system say get under 10 on a D20 say and the high the skill of the maker then the higher the percentage on the dice) if success full then its made successfully... What do you think?

Ben said...

so to make a sword +1

1 level drain + person to make it + roll to see if its successful = sword +1

(if dice role fails say if you role a natural one or 20((depends which way around you do it)) then consciences could happen eg curse or more levels are taken than surpose)

This way it adds risk, and its a cheaper way than using the current system having to save up say 50,000 gold to get a rubbish magic item for instance...

Just another idea lol

Glenn said...

I'm not sure what problem you're trying to resolve here. As a DM, I do not want to have to go back to creating encounters for 1st level characters again, just because the players wanted a +2 sword at level 3. I would rather just include a +2 sword (or, more appropriately, a +1 sword) in the treasure.

The Recursion King said...

I was just throwing random ideas around, to be honest I wouldn't use this myself as I prefer magic items in treasure hoards or on powerful enemies in my own campaign.

Brian said...

As DemonIllusionist said, this is esssentially how things were done in earlier versions (of D&D, at least).

XP is really the better way to do things, instead of levels, though, otherwise a +1 item costs a 20th level character far more than a 2nd level character...

Noumenon said...

I suggest posting all your house rules on Enworld.org so people can talk you out of them... you're totally destroying the balance of the game here.

Brian said...

"Balance" is overrated.

Brian said...

ENworld, doubly so.

EvilMudWolf said...

I do feel as a gamer at recursion king's gaming sessions, the random +1/+2 etc weapons/ items really give the game a twist. It also give the weapon/ item a background and gives the game more depth via time. E.g. this sword was once used by a almighty warrior or was forged at the fire of mount doom etc. However, for instance if a gamer say wanted a +1 or +2 or what ever the traits they want, the high the power the harder it is to get ie if they want an item that makes them impermeable to cold, then set up a side quest to a frozen waste land, if they live then they find the item just for instance... but to know where the place is they need to get info from local sources or over hearing roomers from a bar/ tavern. Gives the players more things to do and it also means they do a lot more exploring and get awarded for it.

(just an idea Pete ;p) lol

The Recursion King said...

Yes, quests for magic items are definitely good things.

However, giving the player exactly what they want, in the way you described ('I want a sword +5 that does extra fire damage and lets me fly') would lead to disaster in a campaign, even if it is locked behind a quest. Players inevitably look to unbalance a campaign, tipping the odds in their favour, tending not to think about the overall balance of a campaign. That's the DM's job, the player is really just looking for personal advantage over his enemies and sometimes even party members ('I'd win you in a fight!').

In short, I think thats a dangerous precedent to go down, to give the players whatever they want. Many campaigns have been destroyed by DM's who caved in to their players every whim. Remember that its not the responsibility of a player to make sure the game works (and nor really should it be), that one falls squarely at the feet of the DM.