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6/07/2019 2:10 pm  #1


Magic Items

So here is a highly subjective question for me to ask....how many magic items do you typically pass out to PCs as they get to various levels? For example, how many magic items does the average 3rd, 5th and 7th level PC have? Do you tend towards combat oriented stuff or more general stuff?

 

6/07/2019 2:55 pm  #2


Re: Magic Items

90% of the time I just roll the treasure class as found in the rules, and use whatever comes up randomly.


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/07/2019 7:17 pm  #3


Re: Magic Items

Blackadder23 wrote:

90% of the time I just roll the treasure class as found in the rules, and use whatever comes up randomly.

I do this as well. I like to be suprised by items the characters receive. I dont like having powerful item so I severely limit charges and uses lest the item become the character!

One of the first items one of the characters got was a zirconium suit. I just determined that it was badly beat up and had few crits left. The fighter enjoyed being uber powerful for a bit then traded the useless ancient tech for something he needed.


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

6/07/2019 7:40 pm  #4


Re: Magic Items

Yep, mostly roll randomly.

However, I did have a soul drinker in a hidden compartment in one room. It was a mural for a god related to death. The sword is basically a character, but the pc that has it is mostly an NPC at the moment so it's not much of an issue for now.


What? Me worry?
 

6/08/2019 5:20 am  #5


Re: Magic Items

Just depends on your idea of Hyperborea or any other world you use the rules for.

Hyperborea is a world where magic items cannot be generated anymore; bar minor items like potions, still the only way to get magic items is to delve; and this is from Hyperborean ruins or ancient alien civilizations. So, in theory it should be a trial to achieve them.

As a so-called GM I place average to low amount of magic items, so obvious like +1 weapons, but I must admit I find it difficult to gauge an average myself. If creating a Hyperborean tomb and the tomb is for rich Sorcerer-kings and Witch-queens, how can I not add unique items to every tomb if the theory is the tomb has never been looted before and it becomes a glut of magic items because realistically they would be adorned with them.

Still average to low (but mostly low) amount of Magic items.

Perhaps an item only (even swords, etc) has a life-span, perhaps it is created for only one task (kill the demon of …???) then the blade turns to dust?

I have found myself creating minor magic or non-magic items (that can cause a spell-like effect, though non-magical) as interesting unique items that (I hope0 can be fun to play. 

Snake-charming flutes, non corroding scroll-cases, etc, but no major blast your dead effects... Think this keeps it interesting.

As with some of the Conan stories, he get a magical item, girdle (Yimsha), sword (Phoenix), Knife (Iron-god) then later it is gone in next story. So, perhaps if players are not grumblers, just take what you think has become to powerful off them.

 

 

6/08/2019 1:22 pm  #6


Re: Magic Items

Have a look at the Rogues Gallery characters in APPENDIX C of the Second Edition hardback for a sense of how much magic PCs of various levels might have.

 

6/08/2019 3:50 pm  #7


Re: Magic Items

Directly comparing the treasure tables in the 2e AS&SH rulebook with those in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual reveals the chance of magic appearing in each treasure class/type to be roughly the same, or sometimes actually higher in AS&SH. From this I would conclude that it was not an intended part of the game design that magic items be rarer in Hyperborea than in the typical AD&D game. This is reinforced by the large number of magic items possessed by the higher level versions of the sample characters in the 2e rulebook; they seem at least as well-equipped with magic as the NPCs in AD&D modules.

Of course any DM should regulate these items in AS&SH as he wishes, just as any DM should do so in AD&D. I just think it's important to note what is, and what is not, a default assumption of the game.

Last edited by Blackadder23 (6/08/2019 3:52 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/08/2019 4:55 pm  #8


Re: Magic Items

Specifically, this is how the treasure classes/types compare between 2e AS&SH and 1e AD&D. I bolded the name of the rules that yield a greater chance of magic in each class/type.

A
AS&SH: 30% any three
AD&D: 30% any three
B
AS&SH: 1 armour 15%; 1 shield 15%, 1 sword 15% (note three separate rolls and a higher chance)
AD&D: Sword, armor, or miscellaneous weapon 10%
C
AS&SH: Any 2 20%
AD&D: Any 2 10%
D
AS&SH: Any 2 20%, 1 potion 25% (note two separate rolls and a higher chance)
AD&D: Any 2 plus 1 potion 15%
E
AS&SH: Any 3 25%, 1 scroll 25% (note two separate rolls)
AD&D: Any 3 plus 1 scroll 25%
F
AS&SH: Any 3 except weapons 30%, 1 scroll 30%, 1 potion 30% (note three separate rolls)
AD&D: Any 3 except swords or misc. weapons plus 1 potion and 1 scroll 30%
G
AS&SH: Any 4 35%, 1 scroll 35% (note two separate rolls)
AD&D: Any 4 plus 1 scroll 35%
H
AS&SH: Any 4 15%, 1 scroll 20%, 1 potion 20% ((note three separate rolls and a higher chance)
AD&D: Any 4 plus 1 potion and 1 scroll 15%
I
AS&SH: Any 1 20%
AD&D: Any 1 15%
(J-R yield no magic in either rule set)
S
AS&SH: 2d4 potions 40%
AD&D: 2-8 potions 40%
T
AS&SH: 1d4 scrolls 50%
AD&D: 1-4 scrolls 50%
U
AS&SH: 1 of each magic except potions and scrolls 70%
AD&D: 1 of each magic excluding potions and scrolls 70%
V
AS&SH: 2 of each magic except potions and scrolls 80%
AD&D: 2 of each magic excluding potions and scrolls 85%
(W only has a map - not really a magic item)
X
AS&SH: 1 potion 60%, 1 miscellaneous magic 60% (note two separate rolls)
AD&D: 1 misc. magic plus 1 potion 60%
(Y yields no magic in either rule set)
Z
AS&SH: Any 3 55%
AD&D: Any 3 magic 50%

I'm not sure what else needs to be said about the design intent re: magical rarity in AS&SH vs. AD&D. Well, except that treasure class/type could theoretically vary between the two sets of rules. Just as a spot check, here are the first ten monsters from AS&SH that have AD&D equivalents, skipping those without magical treasure in either rule set:

Aboleth: F in both rule sets
Abominable Snowman/Yeti: D in both rule sets
Carnivorous Ape: C in both rule sets
Mountain Ape/Ogre: M(x10), Q, R, S in both rule sets
Basilisk: F in both rule sets
Behir: Q(x10), V in AS&SH, 1% chance of a minor magic item in AD&D (comparison greatly favors AS&SH)
Birdman/Aarakocra: J,K in AS&SH, D in AD&D (comparison favors AD&D, although I'm not 100% sure these are supposed to be equivalent monsters)
Cave-Man: L, C, Q(x10), S in AS&SH, ivory/gold/gems only in AD&D (comparison greatly favors AS&SH)
Centaur: Q, X in AS&SH, M, Q, D, I, T in AD&D (comparison may slightly favor AD&D)
Chimaera/Chimera: F in both rule sets

It would appear that monsters usually have the same treasure class/type in both rule sets. Where there's a difference, which rule set yields more magic items varies. I continue to maintain that the apparent design intent of AS&SH was not to yield fewer magic items than AD&D, and if anything the contrary.

Last edited by Blackadder23 (6/08/2019 4:56 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/08/2019 5:04 pm  #9


Re: Magic Items

DMPrata wrote:

Have a look at the Rogues Gallery characters in APPENDIX C of the Second Edition hardback for a sense of how much magic PCs of various levels might have.

The amount of magic possessed by the higher level sample characters seems spot on to me. My characters have "had" more items than this but they get used up, lost or destroyed, sold or traded. The amount of cash held by the sample characters is where I would want my player characters to be but they end up with too much money.  Oh well. 

 


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

6/08/2019 5:14 pm  #10


Re: Magic Items

Blackadder23 wrote:

Directly comparing the treasure tables in the 2e AS&SH rulebook with those in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual reveals the chance of magic appearing in each treasure class/type to be roughly the same, or sometimes actually higher in AS&SH. From this I would conclude that it was not an intended part of the game design that magic items be rarer in Hyperborea than in the typical AD&D game. This is reinforced by the large number of magic items possessed by the higher level versions of the sample characters in the 2e rulebook; they seem at least as well-equipped with magic as the NPCs in AD&D modules.

Of course any DM should regulate these items in AS&SH as he wishes, just as any DM should do so in AD&D. I just think it's important to note what is, and what is not, a default assumption of the game.

I would be interested to know if Jeff went to this much analysis to create the default assumption for found magic in the game. He does mention that it is not the purvue of characters to create magic items beyond scrolls and potions in this dying Earth type of setting, the knowledge has been lost. Though the letter of the game may produce found magic items at a similar rate of earlier games, the spirit says that they are rarer due to lack of current creation of magic items, just a thought. Great analysis.


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

6/09/2019 12:11 pm  #11


Re: Magic Items

mabon5127 wrote:

Blackadder23 wrote:

Directly comparing the treasure tables in the 2e AS&SH rulebook with those in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual reveals the chance of magic appearing in each treasure class/type to be roughly the same, or sometimes actually higher in AS&SH. From this I would conclude that it was not an intended part of the game design that magic items be rarer in Hyperborea than in the typical AD&D game. This is reinforced by the large number of magic items possessed by the higher level versions of the sample characters in the 2e rulebook; they seem at least as well-equipped with magic as the NPCs in AD&D modules.

Of course any DM should regulate these items in AS&SH as he wishes, just as any DM should do so in AD&D. I just think it's important to note what is, and what is not, a default assumption of the game.

I would be interested to know if Jeff went to this much analysis to create the default assumption for found magic in the game. He does mention that it is not the purvue of characters to create magic items beyond scrolls and potions in this dying Earth type of setting, the knowledge has been lost. Though the letter of the game may produce found magic items at a similar rate of earlier games, the spirit says that they are rarer due to lack of current creation of magic items, just a thought. Great analysis.

On cursory examination, it appears that the treasure types were mostly carried over directly from AD&D (with tweaks that generally increase the amount of magical - and, on another note, monetary - treasure) and that most monsters have the same treasure type. Where the AS&SH treasure class differs, it generally yields more magical treasure rather than less. As I already mentioned, cave-men in AD&D never have magic items, while their AS&SH counterparts have a 20% chance of any two magic items and a 40% chance of 2d4 potions. As another example, a lich in AD&D has treasure type A, which gives a mere 30% chance of any 3 items. That same lich in AS&SH has treasure class U, which yields a 70% chance of 1 of each magic except potions or scrolls, or 8 items. So the AS&SH lich has more than double the chance for more than double the number of items. All of which is to say that, in my mind, whether PCs can create magic items is a separate issue from how much magical loot is already cached around Hyperborea, and that the numbers in the AS&SH rules (taken at face value) suggest a default assumption that this quantity of cached magical loot is not less than that found in the typical AD&D campaign operating on the default assumptions in those rules.

(It's also not quite the case that all magic items in Hyperborea, apart from potions and scrolls, are artifacts of an earlier time. It's stated in the rules that snake-men, dwarfs, daemons, NPC witches, and aliens are still manufacturing various magic items; I would speculate that the items associated with various deities are probably still being created by those deities or their powerful NPC servants. So there is still an influx of magical items of many types into Hyperborea. Additionally, this situation isn't 100% different from AD&D. On page 116 of the DMG, Gary lists numerous items, mostly arms and armor, that can only be made by NPC dwarves and elves; by the book, PCs can't even manufacture magical arrows! This is really only a difference of degree, rather than kind, from a Hyperborea where all magical arms and armor come from dwarfs. Or at least that's my opinion!) https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/09/2019 12:54 pm  #12


Re: Magic Items

All good points. Though the total difference we are discussing could be minimal.

I remember having notebooks full of magic items as a 12th level character at age 12. I was pretty sure the %'s were ignored cuz kids like magic items.  As our campaigns matured we paid more attention to what made "sense!"  

Now I "place" very little treasure.  I enjoy the reactive nature of random treasure from the players, the campaign, and the GM!

For me, to the original question: I don't hand out items the dice do. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


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

6/10/2019 1:17 pm  #13


Re: Magic Items

I'm working on a module, I'm putting in only the items that I want To be Placed in the setting (items that I feel the NPCs/Monsters would have). Noting that this is Above and beyond the monster Treasure Classes,

How do you all feel when Modules have Set Items, Should I actually put all the items in an encounter? or just keep it with the ones that I want/need present...


-- 
BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Been playing Tabletop games for 40+ years...
 

6/10/2019 2:49 pm  #14


Re: Magic Items

BlackKnight wrote:

I'm working on a module, I'm putting in only the items that I want To be Placed in the setting (items that I feel the NPCs/Monsters would have). Noting that this is Above and beyond the monster Treasure Classes,

How do you all feel when Modules have Set Items, Should I actually put all the items in an encounter? or just keep it with the ones that I want/need present...

I put the weapons in the monsters' hands,
I put their lunch money in their pouches.
And use the random treasure table only if they find the hidden hoard in the lair.


3d6 straight.
 

6/10/2019 3:05 pm  #15


Re: Magic Items

BlackKnight wrote:

I'm working on a module, I'm putting in only the items that I want To be Placed in the setting (items that I feel the NPCs/Monsters would have). Noting that this is Above and beyond the monster Treasure Classes,

How do you all feel when Modules have Set Items, Should I actually put all the items in an encounter? or just keep it with the ones that I want/need present...

I think it's fine to choose the items, or roll, or a combination, or whatever the DM wants.

I just prefer to roll because it feels more like I'm playing a game too. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

 


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/10/2019 4:49 pm  #16


Re: Magic Items

BlackKnight wrote:

I'm working on a module, I'm putting in only the items that I want To be Placed in the setting (items that I feel the NPCs/Monsters would have). Noting that this is Above and beyond the monster Treasure Classes,

How do you all feel when Modules have Set Items, Should I actually put all the items in an encounter? or just keep it with the ones that I want/need present...

Another fun way is the B1 method. Roll the whole list up front and then figure out just the right way to wedge them into the perfect encounters for a fluid storyline.

Last edited by Iron Ranger (6/10/2019 4:49 pm)


3d6 straight.
 

6/11/2019 12:17 am  #17


Re: Magic Items

At BlackKnight is place what you want,,,

At Blackadder, yeah noticed the % were sometimes higher myself, but are they high enough?

(To any, help) My problem in creating a scenario, is what to place?

Example if a low level scenario: 1-3 levels, it should be +1 dagger, a CLW potion and a few minor items for whole dungeon..

But truth is I creating an ancient Hyperborean tomb-complex, a massive 3 level dungeon and it is meant to be a tomb that is (mostly) 95% untouched by outside hands in a thousand years and full of these Hyperborean lords and sorcerers and if I allow a bunch of 1st level to loot their tombs, they will walking away with priceless treasures, magical and otherwise because it fits the essence of the location, but feels to me like it might destroy the balance of the game.

I must admit it has put a halt to my mental focus on finishing the complex and is like a small mega-dungeon and it is frustrates pondering what to add to each tomb and considering most tombs are not even got an animated skeleton in it or a zombie, just open it, see a 800 gp gem encrusted necklace, two rings worth 500 gp and a +1 longsword? and this is a 1st level scenario, they be laughing to the bank; and an added note: as jewellery is 1,000 years old it worth 2 to 5 times more to an interested collector?

So, theory is how can I judge treasure even using the chart if in fact there is no monster there. For in truth the monster (dead Hyperborean) was once a 12 level sorcerer and was buried with a lot of his possession in case he was brought back to life in the future (a typical mental hope of a dying Sorcerer-king)?

Most frustrating... 

Truth is the dungeon is an expansion of the Dungeon in the Blue book of Zenopus' Ruined Tower and as it was for beginning characters and I was attempting to keep it the same (a beginning character's dungeon for 1-3 levels), but I am starting to think it should be for 6+ level and it is ruining my desire to keep it a 1st level; at least for start of adventure...

Any suggestions?

 

6/11/2019 7:47 am  #18


Re: Magic Items

Stock it with stuff with charges and the like.

In it's prime that laser crossbow was fully charged and awesome. One thousand years later, well it only has like 5 charges and those cartridges only have 10 each.

As noted elsewhere, that zirconium suite has decayed a bit and only has a few hits left in it.

Have some nice things like ioun stones or items of lowish level protection.

Sure, have some gonzo stuff, but have some guardians around it. No sorceror-queen worth her salt is gonna leave her corpse and afterlife loot unguarded.

Rolling stuff up will help give you ideas, but you can also choose things that make sense for the encounters. You can then scale it a bit so it isn't such a Monty Hall of a dungeon.

Heck if they come out of there with tons of loot (gems and such) then the local thieves guild might find them interesting marks. Get your grift on! Throw in some cursed stuff so they have to spend some loot to remove it.

Last edited by gizmomathboy (6/11/2019 7:50 am)


What? Me worry?
 

6/11/2019 10:00 am  #19


Re: Magic Items

Caveman wrote:

Any suggestions?

If you're feeling evil, you can take a page from the book Han Solo and the Lost Legacy: make most of the "treasure" items that were extremely valuable in ancient times, but which have little or no value in modern Hyperborea. For example, ingots of some alloy which the Hyperboreans were able to forge into magical weapons of great power, but which have no use or value anymore. Or artificial glass "gems" which were the key to mighty Hyperborean rituals, but which are utterly useless now. Or maps leading to the "treasuries of the King" - all of which were looted ages ago. And so forth...

If you do this, you can justly point out that the tomb is bursting with (formerly) valuable materials. Just be sure to put some actual gold and gems in the tomb as well, unless you never want to game with these people again!


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

6/11/2019 1:16 pm  #20


Re: Magic Items

BlackKnight wrote:

How do you all feel when Modules have Set Items, Should I actually put all the items in an encounter? or just keep it with the ones that I want/need present...

I don't like pre-determined treasure unless it's essential to the storyline. Good idea is to put treasure and additional info what's the treasure class equivalent [[A, B etc.]] if one prefers to roll randomly. Makes everyone happy I guess.
 


Non-native English speaker - I apologize for any unclear phrasing
 

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