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Things that Worked

   Posted by: Wolfgod   in Fantasy, RPG, Sci-Fi

IN THE GAMES I’ve played and run in the past, there have been a lot of devices that ‘Worked’ - ideas or actions that really made the game or the character special.

Check out the upgradable Sword, below.

A Fighter in one of my campaigns developed a detailed family history.  She belonged to an ancient royal line long thought dead.  To reward this extra work on the character, I added an item to an early treasure find - an Admantium Greatsword +1.  This sword was once part of the ‘Crown Jewels’ of a fallen Kingdom - a hugely powerful relic with a long history and personal value to the character.  Now, for a low-level Fighter this was an excellent find!  However, I knew that within a few levels a +1 Greatsword would start to pale compared to new treasures that would come available.

So, I added something not in the rules, but I liked it rather a lot.  The sword had once contained five jewels of great value - rubies I think.  When the Kingdom had fallen the sword had lost, the jewels removed from their mountings, and sold off seperately.  The sword itself had fallen into the heroine’s hands, but the gems were all missing.  From time to time, she would find a hint or clue for another gem.  As she recovered them, and mounted them back to the sword, it began to gain more abilities.  Flaming Blade, upgrade to +2, etc.  By the time she’d become a high level Fighter and recovered all the gems, she had a powerful, ancient sword with great history and abilities to match hers.

That worked, and the player was quite pleased with her specialized loot.  Something similar could easily be done with armor, or spellbooks, or what have you.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 8:16 am and is filed under Fantasy, RPG, Sci-Fi. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


Thats a good idea. Another way to make a low level magic item useful forever is as a symbol. Perhaps have the item make loyalty assured on the battlefield (for henchmen) for whatever unit that the hero leads, or to rally fleeing NPC’s whos morale has been broken, or to aid in persuasion (’I show you the most Holy of blades - Excalibur - as proof of my word and to encourage you to join us against the armies of the North, for our numbers are too few to stand against them, my Lord’). It could even cause enemies to flee instead of fight because of the item’s reputation and legendary status.

October 19th, 2008 at 2:41 am

“I hold aloft the sword Excalibur - symbol of my divine right to rule England!”

“It’s only a +1 Longsword.”

Good idea - you’re granting the item ’story power’ instead of sheer combat power.

October 19th, 2008 at 6:59 am

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