Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boring Magic Items

As I continue to gear up for the upcoming campaign, I've been looking at rule tweaks. Pathfinder has lots of items but for the most part they tend to get crowded out my those items which grant a numerical advantage.

The Cape of the Manta ray is very stylish but most people would trade it in a heart beat for a good ole cloak of resistance.

What I propose is to grant all of the PCs level appropriate bonuses. Everyone can add +2 enhancement bonus to the stat of their choice, a +2 resistance bonus, and a +1 deflection bonus. Items that grant these bonuses will be removed from the game. I'll leave in the Amulet of Natural Armor. I was going to lower starting cash somewhat but when I realized that there are no magic marts, I may just leave it alone.

Maybe I'll give everyone free armor and weapon bonuses too although now I'd definitely have to lower starting cash. Any comments?


Rognar said...

Interesting idea. Oddly enough, I was thinking about the same problem recently, too many magic items that interest no one. Also, I think magic items in D&D (since forever) lack that quality often found in fantasy literature of being rare and special. I was thinking along different lines, however.

My idea was to do away with creating or buying magic items all together. Keep the knowledge of making magic items extremely rare, but then make the magic items that do exist much more powerful. Forexample, there wouldn't be a cloak of the manta ray or a cloak of resistance, but there would be one or two out there that combine the abilities of both.

Of course, to do this, you would have to nerf a lot of monsters that have DR/magic, like maybe a straight -5 to the DR of all such monsters, so that DR5/magic would disappear, DR10/magic would become DR5/magic, etc.

Obiri said...

yeah the big problem with your idea is that the game assumes you have all of these items that add a number to stats and defenses. Otherwise I quite like it. It would be nice if magic items could be rare, have names and a history.

Derobane-bane said...

This would create a lot of work for the DM. If the DM is willing to nerf monsters appropriately, I would be game with Rognar's idea.

If you ever played in Hyboria, you would know that it is very similar to what Rog is suggesting. It is brutal, and lots of fun.

The only problem with this kind of rule change is the new focus on arcane spellcasting. Fighters get screwed hard in this setting while arcanists barely feel a thing. I think the party would be completely devoid of pure combatants. Hyboria fixed this problem by making wizards and clerics extremely rare. I think 3rd level spells were the maximum in this world.

Rognar said...

I agree, that's a risk, but I think it could be mitigated. First of all, the nerfing of DR/magic helps fighters, but does nothing for arcanists. Secondly, you could tweak the SR of monsters to make them a bit more challenging for spellcasters. I'm not saying this is a job I want to do, but i think it's doable without a really drastic smackdown of arcane spellcasters.

Little taylorito said...

You could make spellcasters more of a support role. Like in the black company series