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2/13/2019 12:52 pm  #1


It's magically deli-cate!

From an idea here, http://hyperborea.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=17455#p17455

Why did this never occur to me before? The answer to magic item bloat is to make them all much more delicate. That the process of enchantment or the action of extra efficacy makes the item attenuated, friable, delicate. Your sword catches on fire? Well, eventually it will burn. Your spyglass sees through the decision paths of time? Well, what do you do when the lens gets scratched. Your nunchuk is made out of zombified rats? Guess what, pal: the expiration date was past when you bought it!

Mechanically, there are lots of ways to handle this, but periodic saves are required. For weapons, maybe whenever max damage or a critical is made. For armor, the same but in the other direction? Easiest to book keep for those, clearly, but misc. magic items could have these baked in or, which I also like, just tend to last longer because they are not exposed in combat. So wands, rods, staves should have some kind of save condition, btut elescopes of lesser foresight, less so.

And saves should have a penalty, probably tied to the power of the item. A sword is +1 to hit and damage? Because it grows tiny cat claws of steel when wielded, which latch on to opponents. But these also weaken it during combat as it has to draw on its own material reserves. So there's always a chance . . .

I don't think this is overly messing with players. There are magic items aplently out there. To me this is more fun and interesting than cutting items from hordes. And it keeps the characters hungry for more. They get XP and use out of magic items -- why insist on permanence, too. I think this holdover from AD&D is one we can easily jettison.

Maybe there are fewer area of effect spells being tossed around in AS&SH, but I find myself rarely asking for item saves. I am happy to go with delicacy as the exchange for efficacy.

tl:dr: Tell your disappointment to suck it, death soldier!
 

 

2/13/2019 2:45 pm  #2


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Handy Haversack wrote:

From an idea here, http://hyperborea.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=17455#p17455

Why did this never occur to me before? The answer to magic item bloat is to make them all much more delicate. That the process of enchantment or the action of extra efficacy makes the item attenuated, friable, delicate. Your sword catches on fire? Well, eventually it will burn. Your spyglass sees through the decision paths of time? Well, what do you do when the lens gets scratched. Your nunchuk is made out of zombified rats? Guess what, pal: the expiration date was past when you bought it!

Mechanically, there are lots of ways to handle this, but periodic saves are required. For weapons, maybe whenever max damage or a critical is made. For armor, the same but in the other direction? Easiest to book keep for those, clearly, but misc. magic items could have these baked in or, which I also like, just tend to last longer because they are not exposed in combat. So wands, rods, staves should have some kind of save condition, btut elescopes of lesser foresight, less so.

And saves should have a penalty, probably tied to the power of the item. A sword is +1 to hit and damage? Because it grows tiny cat claws of steel when wielded, which latch on to opponents. But these also weaken it during combat as it has to draw on its own material reserves. So there's always a chance . . .

I don't think this is overly messing with players. There are magic items aplently out there. To me this is more fun and interesting than cutting items from hordes. And it keeps the characters hungry for more. They get XP and use out of magic items -- why insist on permanence, too. I think this holdover from AD&D is one we can easily jettison.

Maybe there are fewer area of effect spells being tossed around in AS&SH, but I find myself rarely asking for item saves. I am happy to go with delicacy as the exchange for efficacy.

tl:dr: Tell your disappointment to suck it, death soldier!
 

Actually pretty brilliant. I also like the idea of a device using a random number of charges per use.


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

2/13/2019 5:18 pm  #3


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

I suppose so: even Narsil was broken...


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

2/13/2019 8:32 pm  #4


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

rhialto wrote:

I suppose so: even Narsil was broken...

By Sauron's weapon not some random lucky attack or over use.


What? Me worry?
 

2/13/2019 11:16 pm  #5


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

I liked your idea and agree that item bloat is a potential problem. I feel that in a traditional swords & sorcery/pulp fantasy game, characters shouldn't be married to their gear. I agree that all but the most extraordinary magic items should be capable of being destroyed through mundane means. Your idea of delicate items doesn't work for my vision of Hyperborea but I can imagine the concept working quite well if it was "baked into the setting" as it were and part of the thematic whole. I dimly recall glass swords in Ultima being capable of killing just about anything but you only get one strike... 

 

2/14/2019 4:08 am  #6


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Yes! Thank you for this, Handy!
I won’t start too strong on this immediately with my crew but I will ask them to roll for their falling into the pit traps of the (un)fun-house they are currently in... (front = weapons & pouches; back = pack & pride: crushing blow for the delicate items on the impacted side along with fall saves for the harden items on that side and normal fall saves for delicate items on the other/topside of the fall)
...or if anyone declares using a scroll, vial, glass, prism, sprinkles or a lil twig-n-twine when suddenly meleed or blasted/shot maybe a Dex test to keep the item safe otherwise save vs wrath du jour...


...before fatidic silver pools on a auspicious night stood a Hyperborean Xathoqquan priestess; stripping naked like a beast crawling in on all fours in supplication...
 

2/14/2019 4:22 am  #7


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Another option would be the Michael Moorcock style of throwing you into some abysmal drink on a regular basis thus while choosing between life and death you cling to two things...the few that make it usually pick a weapon and their wits otherwise loosing all other accoutrements...one should be able to precious one item, imo...
[normal saves still apply for the favored item only exempt from expiration, neglect, or arbitrary culling and the like...]

Last edited by Monkeydono (2/14/2019 4:52 am)


...before fatidic silver pools on a auspicious night stood a Hyperborean Xathoqquan priestess; stripping naked like a beast crawling in on all fours in supplication...
 

2/14/2019 6:27 am  #8


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Ever get the feeling that Handy really hates magic items?

 

2/14/2019 6:57 am  #9


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

gizmomathboy wrote:

rhialto wrote:

I suppose so: even Narsil was broken...

By Sauron's weapon not some random lucky attack or over use.

True, but was Narsil a mere +1 sword? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

2/14/2019 8:17 am  #10


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

BigPerm wrote:

Ever get the feeling that Handy really hates magic items?

"Hate" is such a smelly word. Let's just say that I am helping you realized that desire is suffering. One broken sword at a time.

     Thread Starter
 

2/14/2019 8:31 am  #11


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Brock Savage wrote:

I liked your idea and agree that item bloat is a potential problem. I feel that in a traditional swords & sorcery/pulp fantasy game, characters shouldn't be married to their gear. I agree that all but the most extraordinary magic items should be capable of being destroyed through mundane means. Your idea of delicate items doesn't work for my vision of Hyperborea but I can imagine the concept working quite well if it was "baked into the setting" as it were and part of the thematic whole. I dimly recall glass swords in Ultima being capable of killing just about anything but you only get one strike... 

I don't feel like, at least in my head canon, there's anything natively Hyperborean that stands in the way of magic items, esp. weapons, wands -- use-now items -- being more fragile than their mundane counterparts. There's no RAW method for manufacturing them (which is good! the one in the DMG is both ridiculous and deflating). So magic items come from ancient superscience, the lost aeons of Hyperborean glory, or beyond the nighted gulfs of space and time.

For example.

So there's no reason baked in that makes them hardier than your trusty Kelt-forged head smasher or Tlingit war club (https://straitsofanian.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-world-is-as-sharp-as-knife.html). I think it's mainly a holdover from AD&D's offhand insistence on things like mithril and adamantium. To my mind, it can add to the weird to have magic items of this ilk be truly strange and not purpose-made for the frankly insane rigors of the adventuring life. I see these fortune hunters as making do with whatever they can lay their hands on. And if the sword will catch on fire, we're using it, even if eventually it melts in our hands. Then it's on to the next item of dubious provenance and unstable nature. World without end. Until it does.

In other words, "Stay eldritch, Hyperborea!"

     Thread Starter
 

2/14/2019 2:01 pm  #12


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Handy Haversack wrote:

Brock Savage wrote:

I liked your idea and agree that item bloat is a potential problem. I feel that in a traditional swords & sorcery/pulp fantasy game, characters shouldn't be married to their gear. I agree that all but the most extraordinary magic items should be capable of being destroyed through mundane means. Your idea of delicate items doesn't work for my vision of Hyperborea but I can imagine the concept working quite well if it was "baked into the setting" as it were and part of the thematic whole. I dimly recall glass swords in Ultima being capable of killing just about anything but you only get one strike... 

I don't feel like, at least in my head canon, there's anything natively Hyperborean that stands in the way of magic items, esp. weapons, wands -- use-now items -- being more fragile than their mundane counterparts. There's no RAW method for manufacturing them (which is good! the one in the DMG is both ridiculous and deflating). So magic items come from ancient superscience, the lost aeons of Hyperborean glory, or beyond the nighted gulfs of space and time.

For example.

So there's no reason baked in that makes them hardier than your trusty Kelt-forged head smasher or Tlingit war club (https://straitsofanian.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-world-is-as-sharp-as-knife.html). I think it's mainly a holdover from AD&D's offhand insistence on things like mithril and adamantium. To my mind, it can add to the weird to have magic items of this ilk be truly strange and not purpose-made for the frankly insane rigors of the adventuring life. I see these fortune hunters as making do with whatever they can lay their hands on. And if the sword will catch on fire, we're using it, even if eventually it melts in our hands. Then it's on to the next item of dubious provenance and unstable nature. World without end. Until it does.

In other words, "Stay eldritch, Hyperborea!"

I'm with you Handy!
This is how I play it: The magic gets used. And nothing lasts forever.
 


3d6 straight.
 

2/14/2019 3:15 pm  #13


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Delicate magic items across the board doesn't work for me. Wands of bone, fragile crystal amulets, Yithian lightning guns that break easily in clumsy human hands- I can get behind things like that. Magic arms and armor that are more fragile than their mundane counterparts just doesn't seem... fun from a player perspective. 

Most players are risk averse hoarders, something I try to discourage. I fear that delicate magic items across the board encourages it.

 

2/14/2019 3:19 pm  #14


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Brock Savage wrote:

Most players are risk averse hoarders, something I try to discourage. I fear that delicate magic items across the board encourages it.

This is exactly why I play the game as "You better wear the hell outta that armor before something beats the magic the hell outta IT!"


3d6 straight.
 

2/14/2019 3:25 pm  #15


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Handy Haversack wrote:

 magic items come from ancient superscience, the lost aeons of Hyperborean glory, or beyond the nighted gulfs of space and time.

This is exactly what magic is in my game. I think of it like an electrical circuit or a magnet - it effects the common element but can be altered/stopped/redirected/ended  - and yes, even by beating on it enough with a regular stick.


3d6 straight.
 

2/14/2019 4:23 pm  #16


Re: It's magically deli-cate!

Iron Ranger wrote:

Brock Savage wrote:

Most players are risk averse hoarders, something I try to discourage. I fear that delicate magic items across the board encourages it.

This is exactly why I play the game as "You better wear the hell outta that armor before something beats the magic the hell outta IT!"

I find the hoarding more of an issue when they are sifting among a fan of magical long swords. And I do think the risk aversion applies more to character than to belonging. No one's not going to wear the armor that improves AC by 2 by growing human hands and blocking incoming blows just because one of those blows might disrupt it. You ride it until it dies.

     Thread Starter
 

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