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Old 07-15-2019, 05:58 PM   #11
malchidael
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Near Milwaukee, WI
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
The description in AW is the same. Still, some item descriptions specifically mention a ST cost and some say No ST Cost, whereas Blur says neither.
The wizard who enchanted my "self powered" Stone Flesh ring back in the 80's owes me a discount......

I don't recall whether it was user error or a deliberate house rule, but we played that an enchanted spell gave the wearer the ability to cast it (or cast it without making a roll for wizards) but it cost ST to use.

Probably user error.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:06 PM   #12
Lord Twig
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

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Originally Posted by malchidael View Post
Early in the campaign, "limited use" items are the best (in my opinion, of course). Potions, scrolls, charged items of all sorts. I've even used things like a sword that could gain a +1 damage bonus, but it only had 10 charges, and each charge lasted 12 turns. Then, you have a nice, normal sword.

Gems of Summoning Scout - low powered, useful, but not overpowering.

Bandages that double a physiker's healing - pretty powerful, but one-use only, and require a physiker to use.

Map that shows your path - no terrain/walls, just direction and distance. Awesome to keep you from getting lost, but can't be erased, so one-use only.

Caltrops that cast Shadow on the hex they land.

Swords or armor protected against red slime attacks, or other rust-based events.

Potions that cast Blur/Avert/Spell Shield on the user. 12 turns protection. And an alchemist might pay a pretty penny if the formula could be found.
Limited items are great for a while, but they don't compare to truly magic items. A sword that is just flat out magic all the time.

Give them an arrow with Brand on it and you might get a "Cool, we'll save that for when we come across a troll or something." But if you give them a flaming sword they will get really excited. I want to get some of the excitement without completely unbalancing the game.

Speaking of which, how does everyone feel about the Maintain Illusion item. That seems pretty neat without being completely unbalanced. It would basically just save a wizard 2 or 3 ST and one turn of casting. It's good, but doesn't seem game breaking good.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:58 PM   #13
malchidael
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Near Milwaukee, WI
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

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Originally Posted by Lord Twig View Post
Limited items are great for a while, but they don't compare to truly magic items. A sword that is just flat out magic all the time.
I agree 100%. The original post was about giving out first magic items, and charged items are great for a while.

Then, you get into the "mundane" permanent magical items. The stuff your lower-end nobles could pay for fairly easily. Heck, a Police Sergeant, at $125 a week, could put 10% aside, and pay for a +1 weapon enchantment in less than two years.

Your higher-end and multiple-enchantment items would, of course, fall into the domain of the mid to upper nobility, but still within the realm of something a wealthy, powerful noble could have made. And if it's useful, they will have it made (Detect Enemies, Reverse Missiles, Spell Shield, Amulet of protection from Disease, Avert - $29,000 cash if enchanted separately. Small price to pay to protect you and your heirs for generations!)
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:40 AM   #14
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

Quote:
Originally Posted by malchidael View Post
The wizard who enchanted my "self powered" Stone Flesh ring back in the 80's owes me a discount......

I don't recall whether it was user error or a deliberate house rule, but we played that an enchanted spell gave the wearer the ability to cast it (or cast it without making a roll for wizards) but it cost ST to use.

Probably user error.
I think the important thing, however you played it, was that the item worked in your game the way you played it. That's all that really matters.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:52 AM   #15
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
What I see is that, under the item description, no ST cost is listed. I interpret that to mean that when the item is put on, the wearer has a blur effect at no ST cost. You may interpret it differently.
Then what would the point of making items self-powered be? Why have those rules at all if casting the spell into an item automatically made it free?

Certainly the Death Test 2 items cost strength to use (though interestingly not to cast the spell at the start).
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:55 AM   #16
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

Quote:
Originally Posted by malchidael View Post
The wizard who enchanted my "self powered" Stone Flesh ring back in the 80's owes me a discount......

I don't recall whether it was user error or a deliberate house rule, but we played that an enchanted spell gave the wearer the ability to cast it (or cast it without making a roll for wizards) but it cost ST to use.

Probably user error.
No, I'm pretty sure you are right. Somewhere in there it calls out how anyone holding an item can 'cast' the spell in it. And of course there would be no point to having self-powered creation rules if items were auto-self powered. Obviously some items might break this rule, but they would be specifically called out.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:24 AM   #17
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

Naturally there are different tastes and interests and GMs can decide what enchantments are available and how exactly they work in their campaigns.


Yes, as a rule, magic items let you cast the listed spell. Except many of them have specific descriptions which say they do something else (e.g. Freeze, Drop Weapon) and/or have various exceptions and different ST costs. However it is not (as Tywyll just suggested) that all items let you also cast the spell. A Freeze item as described only Freezes the wearer indefinitely - it doesn't let some one use it to cast Freeze.



To enchant a Lesser or Greater magic item, one of the requirements is:
Quote:
He will need the magical book (q.v.) with the instructions for the particular item he is making.
So naturally, if in a campaign no one happens to have such a book, they won't be able to make such an enchantment, and might not know it's even a possible idea.

There are rules for inventing new magic items, which say the GM should decide how a researched new enchantment works, which implies to me that there could/would be variations in how they work spread around Cidri (which of course is true in practice from the different ways people play, intentionally or not).


There are also quite a few places in the books where Steve points out that GMs may want to leave out and/or limit player access to magic items, particularly certain types, as it can unbalance and/or derail a campaign.

Of course, GMs can also allow all sorts of magic and see what happens. It can be quite fun and interesting to do so, as long as it's not a campaign where you were interested in the lives and non-magic abilities of characters who may become very impotent and vulnerable to the people with lots of magic items.


I allowed and included a liberal amount of magic in my first TFT campaign, and I eventually grew to regret that. Even the players with the powerful magic started leaving their more powerful items in storage. We eventually invented some rules to limit overuse of magic items.


I think the main problems are that magic items can become like added super-powers, or just increased abilities that the players always constantly use, which may stack up and overshadow the characters' natural abilities, making the combat game more about who has what magic items more than it is about characters and their own abilities.


I think the most unbalancing items tend to be the ones that have no reason not to use all the time (self-powered, or no ST cost), and that stack with other things to make fighters that are better and better. Blur and Stone Flesh are extremely powerful (especially if they have no ST cost) and have a low listed cost.

I prefer items that have limits and reasons not to use them (ST cost, chance of mishap, side-effects, and/or drawing unwanted attention), and/or that do something that may take some thought or creativity to figure out how to use well (not just a +1 to something, but it does something the players then get to figure out how to use to good effect), and/or that do something else that may be inconvenient.

Last edited by Skarg; 07-16-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:32 AM   #18
KevinJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arizona
Default Re: Handing out Magic Items

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Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Don't forget 'fine' weapons!
In my Goranth game, once the players had been exploring ands returned to civilization I made 'fine' weapons available to them and it made a difference for them in combat.

You don't always need magic to improve combat odds. And remember, if the enemy is using the magic during the encounter it will increase the difficulty factor for that encounter. That Blur or Avert will draw out the combat substantially, which might be a good thing as it requires the 'heroes' to rethink their tactics.
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