Dragon 390 - Design and Development: Psionics, Magic, and Metal

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it occurs to me that the ironwood ritual would be tremendously more valuable in athas.  when using that ritual, "you alter a quantity of wood to have the strength and consistency of steel"; so, i wonder whether such a treated piece of wood would acquire the +3 quality of steel, as described in the article.
DnDi_Large.png  Dragon 390
Design and Development
Dark Sun: Psionics, Magic, and Metal
By Richard Baker and Rodney Thompson


In today's Design and Development column, Rich and Rodney talk about the nature of Defiling – and reiterate the Defiling mechanic and also preview a Paragon-Tier Defiling feat, the nature of non-metal weapons in Dark Sun and the implementation of inherent enhancement bonus progression from the DMG2, and the nature of more common Psionics and wild talents – cantrips that everyone can start with a single talent, even previewing one of the talents!

Talk about this column here.
390_desdev.jpg

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it occurs to me that the ironwood ritual would be tremendously more valuable in athas.  when using that ritual, "you alter a quantity of wood to have the strength and consistency of steel"; so, i wonder whether such a treated piece of wood would acquire the +3 quality of steel, as described in the article.



It wouldn't - the +3 isn't an inherent quality of steel. Rather, steel is so rare that the only metal weapons remaining are ones that are magical, or at least +3 enhancement - or at that effective level of rarity. I'm sure you could convince a DM to let you have a non-magical steel blade, just with the understanding it is as rare as a +3 magic item - so it still isn't an appropriate thing for a 1st level character to wander around with.

Now, Ironwood would still be relatively awesome here, and would make a weapon that doesn't run the risk of breaking, perhaps. But it doesn't just let you churn out +3 weapons at your leisure.
I still think it was an error to make defiling a PC option, but that's me and my good guy bias speaking.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Overall, I am now more excited over it.  A free cantrip for everyone?  Very cool.
This article spoke really well to the design challenges of trying to please old school DS fans and yet making the system flexible for different DMs. Nice job!

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I still think it was an error to make defiling a PC option, but that's me and my good guy bias speaking.



I think it is good to have the option there. A DM who doesn't want PCs using it can either just ask them not to make such characters... or can remind them that there can be major in-game consequences to the practice of defiling, and these can certainly catch up to anyone who uses it freely...
I still think it was an error to make defiling a PC option, but that's me and my good guy bias speaking.



I think it is good to have the option there. A DM who doesn't want PCs using it can either just ask them not to make such characters... or can remind them that there can be major in-game consequences to the practice of defiling, and these can certainly catch up to anyone who uses it freely...


i agree.  making defiling accessible by pcs accomplishes several things:

i) it reflects the pervasiveness of defilement throughout athas;
ii) it provides an interesting moral dilemma each time a pc considers using defiling magic; and
iii) as mrmyth already pointed out, it makes for rich plot development. 
This article spoke really well to the design challenges of trying to please old school DS fans and yet making the system flexible for different DMs. Nice job!


agreed