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Old 05-19-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
simply Nathan
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Default [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Right now I'm in the process of worldbuilding; my world is probably going to come across as a strange hybrid fantasy like Slayers/One Piece with some Wonderland thrown in for good measure. Many of the streamlined/handwaved rule treatments from DF are how the world's physics actually work out. (Though Magic generally takes precedence over DF, like Create Earth being an Instant spell that conjures normal earth material).

The question of which approach to items that hold magic energy for the caster to use arose.

A Power Item needs to be attuned to its owner; only he can use its stored energy, and he can only own one such item. The item's objective cash value determines how much power it can hold. These items are never destroyed by being charged.

A Powerstone, on the other hand, is made in a difficult process of increasing an item's energy capacity. Every day, the stone pulls some mana out of the area to charge itself toward its capacity. These stones can wind up with quirks or even get destroyed in the process of being made.

Since I'm doing this for the purposes of writing a story and which approach I take will impact the feel of the world I make, I wanted to get some feedback on which one other people would rather see me use. Both approaches have a certain style I like (though I can't imagine using any hybrid of them), though I've never actually played in a campaign where either is in use.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Personally, from a game management perspective, I prefer power items. They're easier to track, since they have a fixed amount of energy that only decreases until a fixed event occurs. There's less wackiness about players micro-managing the distance of their multiple small power stones, or having to decide between having 3 powerstones of 4 FP or 1 powerstone of 9 FP (or however the trade-off works).

Also, there's some funky world-building implications for power items. A building like a cathedral or tower could be treated as power item, giving high powered bishops or archmages a reason to stay in one place and let the PCs do stuff for them. Powerstones, in my opinion, only have annoying implications with complicated economic issues.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

i use power stones as sort of a 'battery' in a sense,and they can be recharged by any mage who knows how to channel energy.

some of the items in my world have specific runes and ways that must be known by the owners to be able to activate them or 'unlock' them,thus enabling their use.
in my games 'power stones' are a called mage crystals and are a naturally occuring mineral/crystal which can be found in certain places and there are different types.
these crystals have the natural ability to 'absorb' and draw ambient energy from their surroundings.
they are usually very potent and give off radiation and must be worked to use them and slivers are used in staves and other devices to power them.

a staff or some other items can be simply 'stuck' into the ground and they will self charge over a given time.
the better the mage tech(what magic item technology is called in my world setting),the better it will draw energy more effeciantly and thus recharge faster at a faster rate.

or a energy storing device can be used to tranfer energy directly from that item/device and recharge a depleted device.

so i have developed multiple ways for a device to be recharged.

a device can be overloaded and it will explode if it's energy capacity is forcefully exceeded(not a good thing!)..kaboom!!

the better the item is made and the more sarjenium(mage stone crystal) is in the item/device the more energy it will hold.

these are just some of the basic concepts i have come up with.
maybe these will give you some ideas.....
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

I have played with Powerstones mostly and do prefer them...however on a world building note since they can be used by anyone and can be MADE...they are de facto an economic commodity.

I have played at least 2-3 PC mages who derived significant income while adventuring by using the Q+D enchantment rules to make powerstone for later sale...

A GM should be aware of that potential...

However without Powerstones there becomes very little reason for a PC Mage to ever bother with Enchantment spells in most campaigns.

Powerstones can also make a nice loot item for Mages who may not lust after a pointy stick...
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Powerstones are pretty much always a cheaper option than power items in a worldbuilding context. This may or may not be something you want. In an adventuring context there's little reason to have powerstones larger than 10 points, and you can carry around four 10-point stones for the cost of a 20-point IOP, and not even have to pay significantly to recharge them.

Last edited by Anthony; 05-19-2011 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

I use both of them at the same time and find it works pretty well
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Originally Posted by Witchking View Post
Powerstones can also make a nice loot item for Mages who may not lust after a pointy stick...
But when you have power items, any shiny art object is a nice loot item for mages.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
But when you have power items, any shiny art object is a nice loot item for mages.
A significant difference, which you may or may not consider a feature, is that you can only use one power item at once, whereas you can have your grab bag of powerstones (the grab bag of powerstones may be a balance issue; if you take a Filthy Rich character with $100,000 in gear you can have a hundred 5-point powerstones and still have money to spare, which will let you spam low to medium cost spells).
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
Fred Brackin
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

Power items violate my GM rule. If I don't know how it works, it doesn't work in my game. I could invent a reason why power items work the way they do but why bother?

In my longrunning World of D'y'r't game we actually never saw either.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
Ze'Manel Cunha
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Default Re: [Magic/DF] Powerstone or Power Item (Worldbuilding)

It's a setting flavor, the Power Item makes magics more distinct, the Powerstone makes magics more mechanical.

Personally I prefer specific fetish/items which make for distinctiveness, but I don't use the cash value of the item at all, since cash value makes absolutely no sense in any setting.

So a mage may end up with his wand/staff as a power item, or it could be a totem/fetish/amulet, or his grandpa's femur, a lock of his mother's hair, the piece of amber he found as a child, the bottle with sand picked up on the blue moon of his twelfth birthday, his placenta, etc.

This type of power item makes for much more distinct settings, and being unique lend themselves to more personal value.
I've also had those items hold magery, and other powers, as appropriate by setting.
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