Reworking the treasure system: The Magic Item Reset

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As much as I like 4E, I've always found its treasure system to be underwhelming. To be more specific, I think the basic framework for magic items is fine (even the rarity rules!), but the absolute lack of balance and the excessive amounts of worthless items ruins it for me. This is not a problem that can be solved by releasing even more material, nor is it realistic to errata thousands of unimpressive items (and dozens of overwhelmingly good ones) into playability. For these reasons, I decided to try and design a small, yet complete item collection which could fully replace the existing one. As a nice side effect, starting from scratch has allowed me to have a system that actually supports the rarity rules, which I found to be a great tool for a designer.

The new magic items (slightly over a hundred unique items), along with my comments on the design process and some additional optional rules related to magic items, can be found as a series of articles on my blog. Alternately, you can download the item list in pdf form here.

This is intended to be a living document, and I'll be glad to update the item list with any feedback I receive.
My blog about 4e rules and news: Square Fireballs The Magic Item Reset: A standalone set of items for 4E
I'm too lazy to read the links, but don't forget to have a set of "Jesus lizard" shoes (walk on water).
Make sure they don't wear out half-way through the fight.  bloop
Oh, and do they work with Dark Sun silt?

I'd also consider a Basic Elemental Weapon with an interchangable part to empower each element (Acid Weapon, Radiant Weapon, &c).  Changing the part has to be done during an extended rest.

Best complements I have yet received:

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Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

I too have major problems with the balancing and cost of magic items compared to common one.  I prefer to have a separate classes of items, rather than calling everything a Magic Item, and delimiting its cost 360, 520, 680, 840, 1000...I have Mundane, Masterwork, Arcane Infused, Magical, and Artifacts.

Mundane, is typically the common items.  Masterwork is the next class of items, which implies higher quality gear, which typically contains most items that you'd find in the +1 range.  Amulets and Cloaks of protection can also be found in the Masterwork range as  Alchemist and Runecrafters can make these items about as fast as a weaponswmith can craft a +1 weapon.  The cost of these is somewhat comparable to the lv1 to lv3 range of traditional magic items.

Arcance Infused, is simply and item, typically Masterwork quality, but its cratfed from something with innate arcane properties, like making a Mythreal Shield to Sword (I know people prefer to spell it Mithril).  These items have the properties given by the material, along with the quality.  Non these can get in the +2 and +3 range, costing between a lv5 and lv10 item.  The rare materials for such items can also be giving out as treasure, which would be similar to finding a bag of residium.

Magical items are rare, and imply that someone has spelt much time and effort putting more abilities into an item.  This would typically be more of an Epic tier item and very rare to be found.

Artifacts are more unique items in my campaign, which may be transmorphed items such a Platemail properties in a ring, or Greatsword properties in a short sword.  These typical have a benefit and a deterent to being used, such as a cursed blessing.  These are not as rare as the Epic magical items, but are definitely uncommon (not more than one per adventure).

What I've tried to do here, is to fix the broken economy of the traditional magic item system and put the ability to create "good" items in the hands of normal people such as an Armorer and Weaponsmith, or even a seamstress and tailor.  This increases commonality of the items (but I run a magic light campaign), and makes such items more heirloom type gifts.
 





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